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Open mike 10/03/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 10th, 2020 - 58 comments
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58 comments on “Open mike 10/03/2020”

  1. millsy 1

    The calls from the right to freeze the minimum wage underline the fact that the coronvirus issue will be used as yet another excuse to rip any semblance of purchasing power from those at the bottom.

    • Jimmy 1.1

      Rather than raising the minimum wage (and all the inflation that goes with it), I think it would be better to give them more money in the hand via a tax rate reduction.

      • Graeme 1.1.1

        Tricky thing with tax cuts going into a downturn is that they only help those that are paying tax, and do absolutely nothing for those that don't have an income or make a profit, who are the ones who need the assistance that comes from aforesaid tax cuts. For business the impact of tax cuts is also delayed for 12 – 18 months by the way the tax system works.

        Likewise just putting up wages is going to have the odd perverse outcome, like accelerate the impending unemployment of the min wage earner. But the problem here isn't the 5-10% increase, it's really the other 90% of the wage bill.

        Reality here is that what's needed is massive stimulus to keep money circulating in the economy, however this could be tricky with the international supply constraints this event is going to cause. All that could be thought of in 2009 was John Key's cycleway project, which around here met it's aims quite well. Projects will need to be small enough to not need lots of inputs from overseas, but big enough to get plenty of cash moving around.

        As an aside, years ago a Nat candidate came bouncing into my business saying National's tax cut policy was going to be the best thing out for my business. My reply was "It'd just be nice to be paying some tax" The look on his face as the realisation sank in and he scuttled out the door was priceless.

        • Paddington 1.1.1.1

          In the economic conditions of recent years, more businesses are paying tax than not. Most will be paying provisional tax, and relief could be as close as the next payment due in just 18 days.

          As to a massive stimulus, I simply don't trust this or any government to make the right calls around that. Return more money into the pockets of NZ's, target low and middle income families, and let them make individual choices about whether they save, spend or pay down debt.

          • bwaghorn 1.1.1.1.1

            Internal tourism!

            What better time to visit all those hotspots that are normally overcrowded with rude pushie foreign tourists.

            A government backed advertising campaign and free train tickets if you book more than 5 nights away.

          • Graeme 1.1.1.1.2

            There's a lot of businesses who won't be paying tax next year, most of the forestry and tourism sectors, and I'd say most of the discretionary retail are in for a very tough year. We're in tourism and after a very good year last year, this year is going to be a loss, and we have virtually no exposure to the Chinese market. Tax cut sounds pretty hollow.

            • Paddington 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Many of those businesses will be paying provisional tax, in about 18 days!. That tax is based on historical profits (at least to a large degree), so a cut in the tax rate would have an immediate benefit. Not hollow at all.

              • Craig H

                Provisional tax can be reassessed if there is justification – not making any profit is justification, and if they pay the provisional tax and then don't make a profit and it has to be refunded, that's a terrible outcome as they paid the money for nothing at the worse possible time.

                • Paddington

                  That is time consuming for both the IRD and the businesses involved. And then there’s the consequences of getting the assessment wrong. Much more sensible would be a simple mechanism to reduce the amount of the provisional tax. Like a reduction in the tax rate.

                  • Graeme

                    Actually it's not that difficult according to my accountant. Tourism has an advantage as most businesses have a June balance so by the time you're paying your prov tax you've got a pretty good idea how the year is going. Busy time for accountants, but it's dealt with regularly as we go through our cycles. You just don't want to get it too far wrong, IRD don't like that.

                    A few % here or there in the rate is fuck all compared with what a lot are facing, so I don't you're in business, just cranking out ideology from your bedroom.

                    • Paddington

                      I didn't say it was difficult, I said it was time consuming. And I know, because I am accountant who now runs a group of businesses. And not from my bedroom. I also happen to be averse to corporate welfare. Businesses are facing a ‘rainy day. We’ve also been enjoying good economic conditions for many years, which was when we should have been putting money away for this rainy day, not expecting government assistance at the first signs of clouds gathering.

        • Cricklewood 1.1.1.2

          That's not entirely true, If you cut by making a tax free threshold everybody wins including benificaries.

          Can even be paid for my an additional bracket set at 100k.

          • Graeme 1.1.1.2.1

            If government was to cut tax a zero rated threshold would be the way to do it. Another option would be a cut in GST, but most of that would go to retailers who wouldn't pass it on.

          • Descendant Of Smith 1.1.1.2.2

            Nope beneficiaries never benefit from tax cuts. The net rate stays the same and less PAYE is paid to IRD. Only NZS benefits from tax cuts.

            Just another way beneficiaries have been impoverished.

            Benefits originally weren’t taxed but bean counters realised if you taxed it you added it to total income for tax purposes and if people worked during the tax year you could get some of the now pittance paid back through the tax system.

            Yet another way beneficiaries were impoverished.

      • millsy 1.1.2

        And starve our health system.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.2

      Lets try “disaster socialism” for a change…

  2. Andre 2

    A look at why Biden is suddenly the prohibitive front-runner. And no, it's not "the establishment", Democratic party leaders have been bending over backwards to avoid even the appearance of trying to influence the choice.

    Biden's frequent inability to articulate a coherent thought is offensive to those of us strongly interested in politics and the ability to concisely present clear ideologies and plans. But most voters don't care. Especially general election voters. Just look at Reagan, Shrub, and the Don the Con.

    Politics tragics almost always have almost zero self-awareness about where their personal views sit on the distribution of political ideas.

    Lurking beneath the theory that high turnout would disadvantage Joe Biden is what we might call the “disappointed nonvoter thesis.” Scratch a political devotee and you’ll almost always find the same theory of turnout underpinning their plans: If only a candidate would say what I already think but louder. This reflects the disappointment that the very engaged have with their leaders: Practicing politicians have to appeal to mixed constituencies to win reelection or pass anything in Congress, and so they compromise their beliefs, sand down their edges, trim their ambitions.

    The idea that there's a hidden mass of non-voters just waiting to turn out for the candidate that echos your personal views invariably ends in tears.

    Then the coming election will be almost entirely a referendum on Hair Farce One. The chaos and divisiveness of the past few years is fatiguing and distressing, so for most voters a return to something vaguely familiar is much more attractive than yet more revolution, chaos and divisiveness.

    https://www.vox.com/2020/3/9/21169367/joe-biden-electability-democratic-primary-bernie-sanders-donald-trump

    • AB 2.1

      Your assessment of what's happening may well turn out to be right. My quibble is with the reasoning behind it, i.e. "a return to something vaguely familiar is much more attractive than yet more revolution, chaos and divisiveness."

      The status quo before Trump was already a place of chaos and divisiveness – not to mention the barbarism and cruelty of economic life. The only path to a place of civilised, and rational reasonableness is through major reform. We are all living inside a radical right-wing experiment, and we need to get out of it.

      If the electorate don't see it this way and go for Joe – I see no sign that the Sanders campaign will berate them for it. Instead Sanders will swing behind Biden as he did for Clinton, and do his best. The 'Bernie Bro' narrative, like the 'deplorables' designation, is a classist myth perpetuated by elite centrists who think their opinions are above criticism from their economic and social inferiors.

      And finally, if the thought of Sleepy Joe facing Trump's comic power doesn't worry everyone, then it should. Here is Trump ridiculing Bloomberg – and also getting at Warren by implying she is a 'mean woman'.

      • Andre 2.1.1

        There's that thing about hanging out in spaces where politics tragics congregate again – very few ordinary voters would see their life as living inside a radical right-wing experiment in the way most commenters here do. In general, they are at best interested in whether government is going to promote things they like and move away from things they don't like.

        Undoubtedly there's a voting segment that wants upheaval and "sticking it to the establishment" more than anything else, and are less concerned about the direction it takes, whether left or right. You can see that here, in the commenters that show very little concern for the myriad damaging shit the Terracotta Turdface pulls all the time but are very quick to post things he or his sycophants have done that lefties might be OK with. But for most of these voters, the genital-grabbing golem is delivering on the demolition they crave – so why would they switch from a proven wrecker?

        As for Darth Drumpf alleged comedic genius, again that's appealing to a small and frankly juvenile subset of the electorate. Even then, it only works when it builds on already existing prejudice. So Bloomberg was a sitting duck. Hillary had decades of smears to leverage off.

        But for anyone not already strongly predisposed towards Genghis Don, trying to damage Biden by pointing at his apparently declining cognition is simply going to invite comparison to the alternative. Unbelievable as it may be to anyone considering Biden in isolation, the comparison to the Spraytan Stalin is flattering to Biden. Also, Biden has a long history of verbal mess-making, so for a lot of people it's just Joe being Joe.

        In 2016, some of Bernie's supporters (and to a lesser extent Bernie himself) were disruptive and divisive all the way to the convention and beyond. Post-convention, I'd hardly describe Bernie as an enthusiastic campaigner for Hillary – it appeared frankly grudging. And yes, the BernieBros subset of his supporters were indeed a thing, and some of them actively worked against Hillary to the end. Hopefully Bernie and his more reasonable supporters have learned for this time and have a plan for dealing with it.

        https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200306204901-02-opinion-cartoons-0306-exlarge-169.jpg

    • Ad 2.2

      Biden just got the endorsement of the Machinists and Aero Workers union.

      It was a free vote for any party candidate, and Trump got 34%. Plenty of fight in Trump yet.

      That's an influential union with good ground game.

  3. SPC 3

    A fairly comprehensive look at the impact of coronavirus on the global economy.

    https://www.vox.com/2020/3/9/21167391/coronavirus-economy-stimulus-recession

  4. joe90 6

    The passengers are going to end up owning a cruise company.

    An alert about a coronavirus infection sat in an unmonitored inbox. A cruise doctor saw “no point” in disinfecting the ship. And Japan disregarded medical guidelines to contain an outbreak.

    […]

    “Would kindly inform the ship related parties and do the necessary disinfection,” Princess’s port representative wrote on Feb. 1, relaying a warning from Hong Kong health officials. “Many thanks!”

    Nothing happened. Princess says it believes the alert sat unread in unmonitored inboxes. Grant Tarling, the company’s top doctor and the person in charge of responding to outbreaks, said he hadn’t learned about the infection until the following day — after being alerted to a post on social media.

    http://archive.li/vwaIX

    • Graeme 6.1

      The US legal system is going to have a great time with Carnival. There mightn't be much left by the end.

      Carnival are also a very large company and have a dominant share of the cruise market. If they end up getting taken to bits global tourism will be changed quite a bit. Although I think our, and the global tourism industry will be unrecognisable after COVID19 has done it's thing.

    • McFlock 7.1

      lol

      I love how he tried to pretend that he needed someone else's permission to talk about why he chose to sue and then why he chose to withdraw the case.

      How cool would that be as a catch-all evasion: "I know I said I'd go to softball practise today and that I have now chosen to not go, but due to a confidentiality agreement I cannot disclose why I changed my mind or what I will be doing instead"

    • A 7.2

      Good job. Don't forget the interest.

  5. Cinny 8

    How to support our economy in the wake of Covid19…

    Shop local.

    Fun fact, the increase in the minimum wage will help local economies, as that is where it will be spent, at the local shops.

  6. A 9

    Australian Doc says don't wait, isolate everyone now. It's a good call considering the overwhelming toll on emergency and ICU resources, although 3 weeks might be better.

    And yes, expecting retired doctors to go back to work and expose themselves to illness when we already know they are in a high risk group is incredibly unrealistic. A smart retired doctor would stay retired.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/don-t-wait-let-s-self-isolate-everyone-for-two-weeks-now-20200309-p548ao.html

    I am concerned that preparations within healthcare for the cases to come are already behind the level of need. Healthcare workers are ill, or in isolation, or worried to go to work. Healthcare workers have died elsewhere. Facilities are short-staffed. Work safety, especially in smaller institutions or general practice, is threatened by lack of consistent guidelines, inadequate protective clothing, design of safe places for changing gowns, and by the fact they cannot know which patients may be carrying the virus. Retired doctors can’t fill gaps in service. Already out of practice by definition, by age they are in a high-risk group.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Yes. Western govts everywhere have wasted a months warning and are miserably failing to proactively get in front of this crisis. Everywhere they're waiting until too late to act.

  7. weka 10

    While we have a post headlined about the state not listening to women, maybe it would be good to look at the ratio of men to women in the comments feed on The Standard. Then consider why TS has so few women's voices and what that might mean for the left or the labour movement. By consider I mean listen to women (or ask), not start in with reckons if you are male.

    • Adrian Thornton 10.1

      …"By consider I mean listen to women (or ask), not start in with reckons if you are male"..damn and I had already started typing, lol.

      No but seriously, that is a good point you bring up concerning TS there Weka, and I would be very interested to see those male/female comment numbers.

      I have to say it yet is another reason why I have liked the Sanders movement so much, as is it has proved to have been such a big unashamed and prominent platform for the powerful Woman of the progressive Left, young and old.

      • Andre 10.1.1

        Excuse me while I contemplate a thread set up by a woman specifically asking to hear from women and for men to listen, and the first comment is from a man touting his perception of inclusiveness from the Sanders campaign when actual exit polls show a significant gender gap with Sanders receiving a lot lower support from women than from men.

        https://www.edisonresearch.com/on-super-tuesday-gaps/

        And yes, I get it that what I just wrote further degenerates this thread into something specifically not wanted. Sorry, weka.

        edit: here’s state by state data

        https://edition.cnn.com/election/2020/entrance-and-exit-polls/california/democratic

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          I've always assumed that Adrian is a woman.

          Not sure why you had to go there with the links and stuff, although it illustrates my point I guess.

          • Andre 10.1.1.1.1

            Well, there's an Adrian Thornton that has somewhat of an online presence outside TS that's male and has a very close correlation of interests and circumstances with what the Adrian Thornton persona has disclosed here on TS.

            The links are there because I made assertions of fact – without the links it would be just reckons.

            • weka 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Hopefully they will come along and clarify.

              The problem was the reckons about US pol Andre. And now you're defending the derail despite apparently understanding the reasons to not do so.

            • Adrian Thornton 10.1.1.1.1.2

              That Adrian out there probably is me, I use my name in nearly everything politically that I do online, why wouldn't I? I actually stand behind and really believe in what I stand for, and if anyone has a problem with anything I say they can easily find me for a face to face debate if they wished…I might even make them a pretty damn good coffee (if I my say so myself) while we doing it.

              And yes I am a Man.

              • weka

                Then why ignore this "By consider I mean listen to women (or ask), not start in with reckons if you are male."?

                Did you even understand what I wrote?

                • Adrian Thornton

                  Settle down there, I wasn't even commenting to you, I was clarifying something to Andre..that is why the comment was addressed to Andre and not you.

                  • Incognito

                    Weka @ 10

                    Adrian Thornton @ 10.1

                    QED

                  • weka

                    I was talking about comment 10.1. Your reply to me pointing out the problem of low women commenter numbers and asking that men either listen to women or ask rather than jumping in with their reckons. Then you and Andre, both men apparently, jump in with your reckons.

                    As Incog pointed out, QED.

      • weka 10.1.2

        Of the 20 easily visible comments in the Comment menu, two are from women, another two are from gender neutral names where I don't know the person well enough to know what sex they are. That leaves 16 from men. Sometimes there are more women around, but the ratio rarely gets to something suggesting there isn't a problem.

        Of the half dozen authors active at the moment, only one is female. It's been that kind of ratio for a long time. Occasionally another woman author will post, but I'm the only one doing so regularly.

        Also pertinent is the number of times a post like the headlined one is written by a male author.

        • sumsuch 10.1.2.1

          Always liked the weka at the Napier Botanical Gardens. It would sprint back and forth at the back of the cage. Not a comment , just a memory.

          Interesting the taxi drivers over at Kiwiblog outnumber Lefties 8 to 1 . And the Right deciding things the last many decades. The entertainmentism of individualism explains a lot but solidarity doesn't seem to have much traction.

        • weka 10.1.2.2

          right now it's 1/20 (one commenter I know is a woman)

    • Siobhan 10.2

      Bit late here..but as a woman I tend not to comment on TS so much because it doesn't strike me as being a forum for 'Leftist' ideas..or even the Labour Movement ie very few stories about issues concerning workers (be it NZ or overseas).

      Most contributors seem more concerned with repeating the refrain "National (or Trump, or Bridges) are Morons', which while correct, is not something I need to hear everyday. Nor the endless comments about why Bernie is a loser, and the joys of incremental change compromise

      So, that could be 'just my opinion' as a Leftist idealogue (the pet hate of certain well placed individuals on TS), or, possibly, that could be be, as a woman, not enjoying the repetitive crowing (roosters crowing?) against a party that doesn't interest me, or the cocks crowing against any real political movement to the Left.

      Funnily enough..Adrian T. has always told me Weka is a woman…and I've always claimed Wekea is a dude…so, there you go..

      • weka 10.2.1

        Heh. I'm gender non-conforming when it comes to behaviour.

        One of the dynamics about TS is that authors are free to write what they want, so when it gets left to some authors, what they want to write about is what will be the main thing happening on site. Micky writes a lot about National (r0b did too), but it's micky that keeps the blog going by putting up a post most days. I'm averaging about one a week currently (plus some cross posts).

        What I was trying to do in the past was bring in more authors with more diversity, with an initial focus on increasing women (authors, readers and commenters). There are solid reasons why I had to stop doing that, but the easiest one to talk about on the front end is what I pointed to yesterday.

        Imo, if the existing commentariat valued having women here, there would be more women here, and this would change the conversations. I think the increase in diversity would also serve the site well (we lost a lot of regular commenters in the past few years). I would probably write more, if there was more support for women here. At the moment I am actively avoiding writing from a feminist perspective.

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