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Open mike 09/03/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 9th, 2012 - 36 comments
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36 comments on “Open mike 09/03/2012 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    A Special Message


    Ports of Auckland management announced earlier this week that they are going to sack over 300 port workers and contract out their jobs and casualize their workforce.

    This is an outrageous action that does not have the support of the people of Auckland – the owners of the port.

    We can stop this shocking attack on working people in its tracks. But we need your help.

    It is now more important than ever that we have a massive show of support for secure jobs for working families.

    This Saturday 10 March at 4pm we are asking all Aucklanders to show their support for Ports of Auckland workers.

    We are gathering outside the Britomart Transport Centre at that time.

    Following the rally, we will march along the Auckland waterfront to Teal Park outside the Ports of Auckland.

    (There will be transport options for those who cannot join the march to get to Teal Park.)

    Please spread the word through your community and networks.


  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Kiwi woman beaten, starved, saved by NZ diplomats


    Listen up McCully you useless piece of shit. We actually need a strong diplomatic service to protect NZers and NZ interests abroad.

    • johnm 2.1

      More of their imported from the U$$$$$$$ ideology why should the taxpayer pay for her, you know individual responsibility and all that. Helping her means there’s less dough for our pay rises and to give out to our mates as tax cuts. She’s virtually Egyptian anyway!

  3. millsy 3

    The right should put their money where their collective mouths are and start a petition to outlaw trade unions and collective bargaining, with a view to forcing a citizens initiated referendum.

    That is what they eventually want.

    • s y d 3.1

      no need really is there…..they had their CIR back in November

    • Vicky32 3.2

      The right should put their money where their collective mouths are and start a petition to outlaw trade unions and collective bargaining, with a view to forcing a citizens initiated referendum.

      I fear that there are probably many numb-nuts who would say “Yeah, that’s a good idea…” 🙁

  4. Herodotus 4

    In NZ we cannot dig drains, lay pipes or realise that water tanks require a concrete base to make them water tight and council staff still sign off code of compliances, costing the tax payers money to remedy what should have been done correctly first time!!!!

  5. happynz 5

    An interesting critique by Nouriel Roubini of how many businesses are run today…

    Roubini: Businesses are not doing anything. They’re not actually helping. All this risk made them more nervous. There’s a value in waiting. They claim they’re doing cutbacks because there’s excess capacity and not adding workers because there’s not enough final demand, but there’s a paradox, a Catch-22. If you’re not hiring workers, there’s not enough labor income, enough consumer confidence, enough consumption, not enough final demand. In the last two or three years, we’ve actually had a worsening because we’ve had a massive redistribution of income from labor to capital, from wages to profits, and the inequality of income has increased and the marginal propensity to spend of a household is greater than the marginal propensity of a firm because they have a greater propensity to save, that is firms compared to households. So the redistribution of income and wealth makes the problem of inadequate aggregate demand even worse.


    As capital is concentrated into fewer and fewer hands and with increasing calls for further austerity, it becomes a rather bizarre situation. Corporations can push to decrease labour costs, but these labour costs are someone else’s income that is spent on goods and services provided by these corporations. With declining receipts due to declining sales to protect the bottom line labour costs are again reduced and away we go again on the death spiral.

    • Bill 5.1

      Theoretically the big saviour in all of this is China with its cheaper labour costs supplying end products to ‘the west’ at prices within reach of our diminishing incomes.

      Meanwhile, reality has China reducing its growth forecast (down to 7.5% from memory) in light of the fact that global consumption is dropping and it’s now looking to stimulate domestic demand for its products.

      But it appears that China doesn’t really produce that much in relative terms (certainly not in consumables). A lot of its industry comprises of taking pre-made parts from ‘the west’ and assembling them for export back to ‘the west’. And if China did produce goods for a domestic market, wages would have to rise in order to support any type of domestic consumerism. But if wages in China rose, the western corporations would move their production facilities elsewhere.

      Throw in the debt levels of municipal authorities who speculated on land prices and the drop in property prices (down 25% from memory), the massive levels of over capacity (completed airports etc sitting unused) and China, the accidental saviour of the west, begins to smell like it might be soaked in petrol and set for an explosive pop that will have, who knows what ramifications for global capitalism?

      I guess we’ll find out in two to three years time.

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        Basically, a nation relying on cheap products from China because their own country no longer actually produces anything (just circulates money from person to person in the service sector) is like an engine running on fumes.
        I’m actually quite intrigued by how internally stable China might (not) be. There are some very intriguing cultural, economic, and urban/rural divisions that could be fracture lines in the near-medium future.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      In the last two or three years, we’ve actually had a worsening because we’ve had a massive redistribution of income from labor to capital, from wages to profits…

      He seems to have missed the last couple of decades.

      With declining receipts due to declining sales to protect the bottom line labour costs are again reduced and away we go again on the death spiral.

      That’s logical and anyone with half a brain would realise that but the reverse is also wrong. What we need isn’t increased spending resulting in increased profits and inequality but a stable state economy where what is produced is what is needed, peoples incomes match their outgoings and the risk of starting new businesses is born by the community, not individuals.

    • Vicky32 5.3

      but these labour costs are someone else’s income that is spent on goods and services provided by these corporations.

      We saw that in the 1990s in a smaller way with the Mother of all Budgets, when benefits were slashed, and beneficiaries couldn’t afford to spend, small shops closed and so it went – do these people learn nothing?

  6. Pete 6

    “Change fatigue” floors Defence Force staff

    Well, I called it, the Vortex of Suck strikes again:

    “It’s not a good feeling when the government you serve regards you and your colleagues with more disdain than something you might find on the sole of your shoe. This has the unsurprising effect of jading many of the best of the public service, who are already looking to move on. Figures from the State Services Commission already show that core unplanned turnover – the number of state servants who are quitting their jobs rather than being made redundant – has already recovered from its historic low of 9.2% in 2010 to 10.9% in 2011. This departure of talent, combined with a de-facto sinking-lid policy will result in a downward spiral resulting leaving behind an ineffective and demoralised public service. A vortex of suck.”

  7. johnm 7

    “How Ayn Rand Became the New Right’s Version of Marx
    Her psychopathic ideas made billionaires feel like victims and turned millions of followers into their doormats
    by George Monbiot ”

    Link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/03/05-12

    “It has a fair claim to be the ugliest philosophy the postwar world has produced. Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power. It has already been tested, and has failed spectacularly and catastrophically. Yet the belief system constructed by Ayn Rand, who died 30 years ago today, has never been more popular or influential.”

    “Ignoring Rand’s evangelical atheism, the Tea Party movement has taken her to its heart. No rally of theirs is complete without placards reading “Who is John Galt?” and “Rand was right”. Rand, Weiss argues, provides the unifying ideology which has “distilled vague anger and unhappiness into a sense of purpose”. She is energetically promoted by the broadcasters Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santelli. She is the guiding spirit of the Republicans in Congress.”

    “But they have a still more powerful reason to reject her philosophy: as Adam Curtis’s BBC documentary showed last year, the most devoted member of her inner circle was Alan Greenspan, former head of the US Federal Reserve. Among the essays he wrote for Rand were those published in a book he co-edited with her called Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal. Here, starkly explained, you’ll find the philosophy he brought into government. There is no need for the regulation of business – even builders or Big Pharma – he argued, as “the ‘greed’ of the businessman or, more appropriately, his profit-seeking … is the unexcelled protector of the consumer”. As for bankers, their need to win the trust of their clients guarantees that they will act with honor and integrity. Unregulated capitalism, he maintains, is a “superlatively moral system”.

    Once in government, Greenspan applied his guru’s philosophy to the letter, cutting taxes for the rich, repealing the laws constraining banks, refusing to regulate the predatory lending and the derivatives trading which eventually brought the system down. Much of this is already documented, but Weiss shows that in the US, Greenspan has successfully airbrushed history.”

    “Saturated in her philosophy, the new right on both sides of the Atlantic continues to demand the rollback of the state, even as the wreckage of that policy lies all around. The poor go down, the ultra-rich survive and prosper. Ayn Rand would have approved.”

    • johnm 7.1

      An article showing the direct effects of NeoLiberalism and Ayn Rand’s rubbish on a once respected beacon of hope in the World. That hope has been completely and utterly betrayed:

      “America – Land Of The Poor
      By Stephen Lendman


      “Years ago, who could have imagined the appalling growing poverty level in the world’s richest country?

      Various reports confirm it, including a new one by the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center (NPC), titled “Extreme Poverty in the United States, 1996 to 2011”.

  8. johnm 8

    For a Kiwi suck up to Ayn Rand go to Linsey Perigo’s website :www. SOLO pASSiON.com You can be pretty sure the Axe party love her dead rubbish to bits.

    • McFlock 8.1

      Wasn’t their some jerk from there being a John Galt here a while back?
      As I recall, “solo passion” is a pretty accurate description of the substance of their argument… 

      • Te Reo Putake 8.1.1

        “As I recall, “solo passion” is a pretty accurate description of the substance of their argument… ”
        Is ‘solo passion’ a Freudian code for W anchors?

  9. Pete 9

    Deaf MP Mojo Mathers has been granted funding for support in the House.

    Speaker Lockwood Smith this morning announced he had directed Parliamentary Services, which funds support for all MPs to do their jobs, to provide the legal authority to fund electronic note-takers for Mathers.


    I’m glad he’s come to see some sense. Like most people I was angry at Smith’s refusal of funding, but he must have managed to find a place in the rules to allow this or to create a new one. I think that deserves some recognition. It doesn’t change the fact that it shouldn’t have been an issue at all.

  10. We are heading to a situation where education policy and practice will be dictated by nonprofessional administrators, driven by unsupported data rather than qualitative evidence. Heaven help our quality public education system under this regime!

    • Ianupnorth 10.1

      Welcome to the world of the health sector – it has been mismanaged by accountants and managers for several years, never mind about clinical research, it just gets in the way of reaching targets!

      • Dave Kennedy 10.1.1

        Ianupnorth-I have no doubt you are correct about the influence of bureaucrats in the health service, however, my wife is a GP and she is appalled at the level of government intrusion into teaching practice. While medical treatments and clinical assessments are still mainly dictated by the profession and evidence it is not so with teaching. The narrowing of our curriculum to numeracy and literacy and high stakes assessment goes against all research of what constitutes good teaching and learning. This government is so enthusiastic about implementing the ideology and systems from the US that our ranking in the top five will quickly drop to something closer to the 39th place where the US currently sits.

        • Ianupnorth

          I agree pretty much with what you say; both sectors are perceived by the right as being ‘controlled’ by intellectuals who want to use that nasty thing called evidence to underpin their work practices.
          One of the problems is the bureaucrats are literally yes men for the ministers, who are solely driven by ideology and vote protectionism.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Solid Energy buys Pike River

    Solid Energy announced before Christmas it was out of the running to buy the mine but overseas buyers were put off by the need to recover to the bodies of the 29 miners killed in an underground explosion in November 2010.

    So, just how much bailing out of the private sector did the tax payer cough up this time?

    • freedom 11.1

      “The Government would work with the receivers and Solid Energy regarding the transfer of the mining permit and access arrangements, as well as the establishment of a trust to oversee efforts to enter the mine and facilitate body recovery, ”

      funny how this bit is so important the nice journalist wrote it down twice, maybe so you did not miss it ???

      or more likely, to make sure we didn’t ask once again why huge amounts of tax dollars are spent buying something we will soon sell off to the lowest shill bid they can safely slip past the public.

      p.s. whatever did happen to the $7million+ that was donated to the miners’ families?

  12. Fortran 12

    All plastic comes from Oil.

  13. millsy 13

    I note that AWF (formerly Allied Workforce) is among the new private contractors who will be doing stevedoring work at PoA. I have always felt repulsed by them, as bascially a way for companies to wash their hands of actually investing in staff, just bringing in expendable labour and getting rid of it when you dont need it, while the workers just spend hours sitting by the phone waiting to know if they are needed to come into work.

    • Vicky32 13.1

      I note that AWF (formerly Allied Workforce) is among the new private contractors who will be doing stevedoring work at PoA. I have always felt repulsed by them

      Me too! Ever since I heard their advert years back “Hire muscle when you need it/Allied Workforce!”
      Note, “muscle” not people… Pity muscle generally has people attached!
      (On another not-entirely-unrelated note – why do we now use the Americanism ‘stevedore’ all the time? Are the msm and POAL scared of the word ‘wharfie’? Is this all just part of the creeping Americanism of our language – I heard a teenage boy in Pt Chev shrieking American swear-words at a pretty girl he wanted to impress the other day – too much TV?) or is a reflection of the fact that the original home of attacks on workers and unions was the USA? )

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