Open mike 11/05/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 11th, 2015 - 80 comments
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80 comments on “Open mike 11/05/2015”

  1. Paul 1

    The Herald is obsessed with ‘Prince’ Harry.
    No doubt many NZers are lapping it up.

    Matt Carr’s description of modern day English thinking can easily be used to describe too many Nzers at the moment.

    “Whatever you think of the SNP’s ability to deliver on its social democratic credentials, its appeal to the Scots electorate is clearly based on very different premises than the beligerent, rancorous, flagwaving, royal baby worshipping, foreigner-hating nativism that is driving English nationalism in its current manifestation..

    It’s a result that was made possible by a sheeplike, frightened and rancorous population that appears increasingly disposed to believe all the lies that it is told by its vile newspapers. It is an irrational, stupid and fearful vote by an electorate that doesn’t even recognize its own self-interest, let alone the interests of others, that has abandoned any commitment to even the most elementary principles of social justice; that didn’t couldn’t even see that Miliband’s tepid, focus-group-manufactured One Nation ‘fairness’ was still preferable to the dismal social cruelty that the government has already inflicted and which is certain to intensify in the next five years.

    In doing so the English have demonstrated extraordinary political cowardice. Lacking the gumption to challenge the powerful, they have preferred to elect a government that victimizes the powerless. This is a population that prefers to doff the cap than bite the hand that it thinks feeds; that expresses its digusts with politicians by voting in the worst of them; that drapes itself in the Union Jack and doffs its collective hat to its masters in the hope that it can be like them; that would rather blame the Scots who want to fight austerity than fight it themselves.”

    http://infernalmachine.co.uk/election-the-horror/

    • today is a first for me..

      the first thing i do on my news-search each morn is to check stuff and the herald..

      ..and today – for the first time – neither had even one article that i deemed worthy of linking to..

      ..abosolute shite – in both of them…

      ..five for five..

      http://whoar.co.nz/

      • phillip ure 1.1.1

        and for the herald – that is two days in a row…

        (do they have a new editor..?..or something..?..)

        • Once was Tim 1.1.1.1

          @ PU – I take it (actually I think I know you do) scan a variety of sources from the so-called MSM – to the al Jazzs and RT’s for comparative takes on things.

          Maybe it’s time you got a little more scientific tho’ and started getting a little more scientific (in terms of content analysis, and whatever the buzzwords the media pundits are using these days).

          Pretty bloody obvious tho’ how UTTERLY BADLY the NZ public is being served by those who profess to being from the 4th Estate and their being sensaltionalist labellers of others (even IF they may be wife beaters themselves, alkies [while quik to label you a crazy junkie]; du Plessey all-init-for ME ME ME’s; …… Christ! I’m going to run out of space]
          conflicts of interests much? serious journalists much? brown-nosing for a pollies’ PR pony jobs much?. (Even the fact that pollies think the NEED such people these days says a lot about how journalists have undertaken their commitment to a 4th Estate) …… news fucking “CYCLES” ffs! (and various other inventions for that matter)

          When I look back over the years, it amazes me how we’ve come from a position of having an ‘ADEQUATE’ 4th Estate (albeit with the baggage of BBC type colonial journalistic necessities) to one of the world’s most INADEQUATE
          (closeted advertorial type shite is OK; partisanship is OK [ as long as THEY can maintain their position of being stars or celebrities means their partisanship should be well-known ]; fair and balanced a la Faux News is OK; cronyism and ‘the Club’ is OK…..; even measuring the value of News, Current Affairs, etc by fucking RATINGS and demographics is apparently OK…..
          The neoliberal…. the reduction of value to a measure in monetary terms only …. ……
          No wonder Key is clutching at a fucking flag

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Electric buses, electric trains and electric trucks. Forget the privately owned electric cars as they’re horribly inefficient (if we had an economic system private cars wouldn’t exist). All of this to be powered by renewable electricity generation.

      We’re doing far too little to shift ourselves off of fossil fuels.

      • Molly 2.1.1

        Privately owned electric cars used as a car-share, ride-share vehicle for those areas deemed uneconomic for public transport would be a plus.

        Especially if the electricity was locally generated by renewal energy systems.

  2. tory-shites news-update..

    camerons’ new justice sec. wants to bring back the hangman..

    ..and of course – with a majority of 12 – the euro-sceptics have cameron by the balls..

    ..so that will all get interesting/ugly..

    ..cameron may be now ruling alone – but in many ways he has less power than he did in a stable coalition..

    ..now he has all the frothing/raving-loony far-right nutjob tory mp’s to deal with..

    ..he really is putting the ‘hollow’ in ‘hollow-victory’…

    • Cameron’s biggest challenge is one of his new MP’s. Boris Johnson won’t want to spend 5 years sitting on his hands. Cameron can give him a role to keep him busy (Minister for London?) but Johnson won’t wait too long before trying to ease his former schoolmate out.

  3. A Voter 5

    Anybody think of anything of that this country can be proud of that this govt has done in the last six+ years that has progressed this nation ?
    Hard one to answer ?
    Labour lowered the national debt we all know that
    National sent it to a new level not seen before at a rate not known in my life time and thats getting to be a long time
    Now he, because there is really no one else in this govt cant give a shit about the road toll or the fact that his flag change is to undermine the Treaty of Waitangi ,which is a very cunning piece of subversion by this govt which will be shown to be true just look at the oil industry take over of the Canadian economy and the destruction of the Athabascan ecosystem and indigenous rights of the first peoples and the same is happening here I can see the oil all over 90 mile beach now as a vision of the future but all the racists say its an illusion. I ‘ll let you fill in the rest.
    Quite frankly the money is bullshit and an excuse to continue this fascist madness that is running this country destroying the lives of many of our younger generations
    This govt doesnt give a shit about democracy

  4. end homophobia 6

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast-with-asb/audio/andy-haden-homophobia-in-rugby/

    I give you the unenlightened bollocks of former All Black Andy Haden on homophobia in sport.

  5. there was one recent news-item that i can’t get out of my head..

    ..helen clark is in receipt of a gold-plated parliamentary-pension..

    ..helen clark is also receiving a stratospheric-income in/from her job at the united nations..

    ..yet last year..helen clark claimed over $22,000 from the new zealand taxpayers in ‘travel-expenses’…

    (and yes..i know that in that same report – we learnt that bolger and his wife sucked a hundred grand out of that particular trough ..in the last year..(they must have permanent fucken jet-lag..eh..?..)

    stellar examples from the left and the right of ‘service to the country’…eh..?

    ..and do either bolger or clark have even the slightest twinge when fill out the forms/their bank accounts bulge even more..?..d’yareckon..?

    (oh..!..and of course there is also yr bog-standard pension..eh..?..they’ll be up for that too..sweet-ride..!..)

    this is why whenever i hear ‘praise’ of these individuals..and the ‘service’ they have given to us mug-punters/the country..

    ..this is why/when i feel like dry-retching…

    ..how could you not..?

    ..pigs so far down in the trough..you can’t even see their wiggling-tails..

    • vto 7.1

      In these days of performance measurements and workplace incentives to garner the ever-increasing productivity demanded of those with the worn fingertips you would think that the politicians would align their rewards with the rewards of the population i.e. politicians get for pension what they provide to others as pension…..

      yeah nah eh

      different eh

      yep

      nup

    • alwyn 7.2

      Phil claims that “and yes..i know that in that same report – we learnt that bolger and his wife sucked a hundred grand out of that particular trough ..in the last year”

      I realise that you don’t like Bolger Phil but why don’t you quote the details accurately. The figure you give for Bolger and his wife was for three years, not one.

      The story reported in the Dom/Post said that and also said “Thirteen members of Parliament are on track this year to spend less than Bolger, who clocked up $24,391 of national travel for himself and wife Joan from July 2013 to June 2014.” That is very close to Helen Clark’s isn’t it?

      I also think the whole entitlement attitude they have stinks but at least let us quote the numbers accurately.

  6. adam 8

    I see the labour parties HR guy is full of great ideas. Do I really have to type /sarc at this point, or do you get that this is more bullshit from a party so far out of touch, they should just join up with the Tory scum and be done with it.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/05/10/labour-turns-on-non-voters/

    • Charles 8.1

      There seems to be a distorted filter between the nebulous “people” and the voice of the Party or whoever or whatever it is that spits out the interpreted adjustments as they think needs to happen when policy ideas meet reality. What this filter does is take all the negative authoritarian aspects of the Old Left and re-apply it in modern form. This is their version of staying true to their roots – cherry picking the destructive, ignoring the positive. Labour’s current thinking seems to be one election win away from a 1930’s style pogrom. They demand to know why National isn’t primed for internal witch-hunts at the slightest suggestion of ideological “conflicts of interest” in the same way they are, while ignoring the workers rights infringements of real, concrete events, as they happen. “Suspicion, above all else” could be their motto.

    • McFlock 8.2

      well, non-voting is a problem.

      Personally I’m in favour of compulsory registration but not compulsory voting, because pre-registration speeds up the voting tallies.

      However, I’m not in favour of making registration contingent on benefits or anything else (although every government office should be asking “would you like to register to vote?” the way fast food checkout operators ask about fries). Too easy to turn into an excuse to cancel the benefit – I’m suprised the nats didn’t leap at the idea, as it makes another hoop to jump through so they can kick more people off a benefit.

      • adam 8.2.1

        We have compulsory registration. McFlock.

        • McFlock 8.2.1.1

          I’m aware of that.

          Although one out of ten nzers seem not to be, according to the link. Which makes a bit of a joke of “compulsory”…

          • adam 8.2.1.1.1

            Indeed, I agree it is a joke.

            Two things we need – make it simpler for people to enrol privately and alongside that stop handing out enrollment information to any Tom, Dick or Harry. Actually lets not hand it out at all – if political parties and scrutineers want to look at it they should go to the electoral commission. Credit where credit’s due – I think Lynn said that first.

            And two, speaking of the electoral commission – It needs a shake up. It’s been tarnished a bit with poor judgement and not appearing completely neutral.

            Both these issues need to be addressed. to restore some confidence. Oh and the big one – our politicians should stop being bottom feeding scum – but hey, on that – I’m not holding my breath.

            • McFlock 8.2.1.1.1.1

              I think the entire relationship of public information and big data needs a rethink, but the electoral roll is public for a reason: open democracy. Among other things, it heightens the chance that joe bloggs will discover that his comatose aunt had apparently re-enrolled to vote.

              Electoral commission’s not too bad, IMO, but I think what’s needed is an expedited appeals process so the correct decision has a decent chance of being reached or confirmed during the campaign itself.

  7. Rosemary McDonald 9

    “The Prime Minister has rejected any suggestion that government MPs having property investments is a conflict of interest.

    Opposition parties say the number with such housing investments is likely to have influenced the Government’s response to what they say is a housing bubble in the country’s biggest city.”

    Natrad revives the discussion about MPs investments and the possible conflict of interest.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/273287/mps'-housing-investments-'no-conflict

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Of course it’s a conflict of interest and we will always get that in our present system. This is why policy needs to be set by referenda rather than a small clique of people behind closed doors.

    • Sirenia 9.2

      Ethics is not a strong point of this government so I’m not surprised they don’t recognise obvious conflicts of interest.

  8. smokes kreen 10

    NZ Herald 11/5/15 “TVNZ wants less of election – Broadcaster says it shouldn’t have to air parties’ poorly rating opening addresses.”

    Since when has democracy had anything to do with media ratings?

    • adam 10.1

      Since the economic sociopaths, and the amoral took over society.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      The capitalists don’t like democracy as it gets in the way of them exploiting everybody and everything as they choose.

    • halfcrown 10.3

      Yeah right,
      Also does it mean that they will only show the rightwing opening addresses as TVNZ ie National, will rate all others as “poorly rated”

  9. Draco T Bastard 11

    Wonder who gets to decide what’s ‘extremist’? Oh, that’s right, it’s the shop owner and the police. And that right there tells us that Britain is now fascist state.

    • smokes kreen 11.1

      Could “extremists” possibly be the 75% of Brits who did not vote Conservative?

      • Paul 11.1.1

        A plutocracy not a democracy

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        More than likely:

        It states: “The use of the new law will be limited to cases that involve criminal law and the liberty of an individual, the right to property and similar serious matters.

        “There will be a threshold below which Convention rights will not be engaged, ensuring UK courts strike out trivial cases.

        I suspect that the people who define some human rights as trivial will be the same people who define extremist.

      • shopwriter 11.1.3

        Anything is possible. Second largest city in UK, Birmingham, of 278,623 youngsters, 97,099 were registered as Muslim compared with 93,828 as Christian. But that doesn’t make them extreme. I am christian but I have lots of muslim friends they hate extremists themselves.

  10. Prince is headlining a free concert in Baltimore, starting at midday NZ time. It’s being broadcast (audio only) on Tidal: http://tidal.com/nz

    Check out Prince’s new single, Baltimore, here: https://soundcloud.com/prince3eg

    No justice, no peace!

    • adam 12.1

      Great song. Thanks for the link te reo putake

      • te reo putake 12.1.1

        The gig is pretty lively. A lot rockier than I thought it would be, too.

        edit: My favourite inbetween song chat was along the lines of this from one of the band members:

        ‘Please put your your phones and cameras down, this gig is bigger than technology’

  11. defining the clark labour govt. – using only three words – this is the challenge:

    my contribution:..

    ‘deserving/undeserving-families’

  12. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14

    Should you unfriend your Conservative friends on Facebook?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/election-results-backlash-as-liberal-philosopher-asks-people-to-unfriend-tories-10240131.html

    • Molly 14.1

      Didn’t bother to read your link, and don’t use Facebook, but my answer to your question is an unequivocal “No”.

      For the same reason you visit here: we need the reminder that not all agree with our values, and if we don’t occasionally have someone question our own, we are in danger of becoming prejudiced instead of what we consider principled.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2

      Nope.

      Although I wish they could have a reality-based opinion once in a while.

      • adam 14.2.1

        Sorry to split hairs One Anonymous Bloke – but I find my conservative friends do have a tendency to argue in reality based opinion. It’s the neo-con’s which go off into lala land on a regular basis.

        What do we call the two groups? I just go with old conservatives and neo-cons. Any suggestions?

        On a side note a bunch of my hard right libertarian facebook friends, now hate on the neo-cons with a passion. I keep goading them – by asking “when is the next backstabbing – from your right wing friends. Or “Oh look it’s a neo-con, just like a marxist – only more vulgar”.

    • b waghorn 14.3

      No you have to keep in touch with them so you can gently ( or not) point out the failings of unbridled capitalism.
      Just like a missionary if I can save one poor delusional key acolyte from making to big a fool of them self my work will be done.

    • Grant 14.4

      Define “friend”.

  13. adam 15

    IS it just me or have the Tory scum have no other economic plan except make their mates richer? Same dross from across the ditch. Interesting how they frame it over-there.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-11/budget-2015-government-to-cut-public-service-jobs-assets/6459126

    And whilst were talking about across the ditch. Good on the this mob.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-11/kimberley-land-council-broome-tourism-threat-remote-communities/6458934

  14. johnm 16

    The Inhuman Failure of ‘Austerity’

    Close your eyes and imagine an affluent society with subsonic trains crisscrossing the continent. One that produces unlimited clean energy. Provides basic healthcare for everyone. Values education for its own sake. Cultivates the arts and research to discover beauty and the unknown. An affluent society that responds with compassion to natural disaster. Conserves natural resources and protects the environment. And enjoys more leisure time. Cares about eliminating poverty and illiteracy. That ends racism and prejudice.

    Does the affluent society seem like a dream? Is it an impossible goal? The neoliberals think it is. They imagine a world of austerity and a new Gilded Age.

    The neoliberals are prisoners of the Eighteenth Century. They have not advanced since the neo-feudal teachings of Adam Smith (1723-1790). Smith is the godfather of economics and wrote the “bible” of capitalism, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Smith was among the first to give much thought about economics.

    In Eighteenth Century Great Britain, half the population lived in poverty. They survived, if they did, with disease, famine, illiteracy, lack of sanitation and in slums. It was normal then. Things had always been that way. They thought the poor, starving and ignorant mass of people would always be among them. They thought their society was according to the law of nature.

    Smith was a charitable man. He fretted about poverty, and gave a great deal of thought about wages. With a large pool of the unemployed, the new industrial class only had to pay subsistence wages.

    Smith tried to tell the industrialists that people were like cattle. He said if one gave their cows more grass, then they would produce more milk. The industrialists said that if they gave their workers higher wages, then it would come out of profits, and the workers would just produce more children with mouths to feed, leading to greater starvation. The neoliberals still think this way.

    Every progressive social project the neoliberals call it socialism, as if that is an obscene word. The only government projects they like are those that benefit the private sector, corporations and the wealthy.

    Almost every modern democracy has done better than the US at providing good government for its people. All the evidence proves it. The US consistently ranks far below more progressive countries on the United Nations Human Development Index that measures health, education and equality of income.

    On the Social Progress Index, which measures “Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellness, and Opportunity” (see interactive map); the US is ranked sixteenth, and well behind other developed democratic nations. Those countries doing better have not degenerated into totalitarianism, as the neoliberals predict.

    The neoliberals see Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin behind every government social program. In the 1940s the neoliberal’s idol, Friedrich von Hayek (1899-1992) wrote a thesis called The Road to Serfdom. It is a simple book in its Eighteenth Century theories about government and freedom. There is a comic book version, courtesy of General Motors. Hayek won the Nobel Prize for it.

    John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) and Hayek were colleagues at the London School of Economics. They had a long-running debate for years over the role of government. Keynes realized that government was important, that it has an active role in the economy. He said the government could do “good” and manage the economy well. Hayek said it was the road to serfdom.

    Keynes was an economic advisor for the British government during World War I. He also advised the British during the Treaty of Versailles to negotiate Germany’s surrender. Keynes resigned from his position at Versailles in disgust, saying the harsh austerity the Allies were demanding of Germany and Austria would cause massive poverty and starvation. He said it was inhumane and would result in the rise of fascism and war. He proved to be right. He was not awarded the Nobel Prize.

    In the Twenty-first Century, the European Union is imposing harsh austerity on its weaker members. The neoliberals are dismantling Europe’s progressive social programs. We are seeing the rise of fascism again too. So which is more likely to cause fascism and war: Austerity for the people, or progressive government social programs? Hayek said he did not mind a dictatorship, as long as it is neoliberal. The neoliberals like right-wing dictators.

    During the Great Depression (1929-1939), President Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned to Keynes for advice about the Great Depression. Keynes wrote a letter to Roosevelt advising him on the need for government social programs to stimulate the economy. Keynes further warned FDR that lowering interest rates and increasing the money supply alone would only bailout speculators, but would not sustain economic recovery.

    By contrast, President Barack Obama took the neoliberal advice in the Great Recession and bailed out the speculators. Keynes would have predicted that the result would be anemic economic recovery. He would have been right.

    Keynes gave worthy advice that would do the American people well in the Twenty-first Century. The neoliberals keep sabotaging good advice from past sages. Their sabotage is well-funded by corporations, foundations, foreign governments and the wealthy.

    John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) was a genius with Twenty-first Century ideas. Galbraith served as an economic advisor to both FDR and John F. Kennedy. His most famous book isThe Affluent Society (1958), a popular book during the 1960s.

    During the Stagflation of the 1970s, the neoliberals allied with the religious-right and racists to purge Keynes’s and Galbraith’s teachings. In the 1980s, the Reagan-Thatcher revolution established neoliberals, corporate hegemony and right-wing extremists in the halls of power.

    The first experiment of the neoliberals was in Chile during the 1970s. It led to the rise of Pinochet, fascism and crimes against humanity. Hayek said in a 1978 letter to the Times of London that he personally approved of Pinochet, preferring a dictator to a democratic government without neoliberalism.

    Hayek made one excuse after another for Pinochet. He was not even faithful to his own principles, and said Pinochet’s firing squads would transition to democracy. Those on the wrong end of Pinochet’s firing squads would not live to see that miracle. The neoliberals never take responsibility, admit they are wrong, or say they are sorry. (See example, here.)

    Galbraith’s discarded ideas had some excellent questions and answers to ponder in the Twenty-first Century. What is our obsession with economic growth and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), when an affluent society already produces all the private goods and services needed, Galbraith asked? And, shouldn’t we be more concerned about what is produced instead of how much? He said there is a “problem with social balance … private affluence and public squalor … as well as related environmental, aesthetic, and cultural concerns.” He was a man for the Twenty-first Century.

    Neoliberals are not against fascist and corporate planning of the economy. Fascists use the firing squad as their economic planning tool. Corporations use monopoly power, public relations departments and political graft. Corporations are hierarchical organizations that meet in secret to decide what to produce and the price people will pay. They spend billions of dollars on advertising to change consumer preferences and move their products off the shelves. Their propaganda has created a privatized culture of consumerism, materialism and gluttony.

    The corporations are dictating government programs too. Their oligarchies have taken over governments globally at all levels. They plan the government and the economy for their own profit and greed. Corporate oligarchies and neoliberals attack every social program for the public. They impose austerity on the public sector and the people. The impoverished public sector is in dire need of investment.

    Education could use a tsunami of new investment. The lack of investment for education, especially in poor neighborhoods, is glaring. The neoliberals blame “bad teachers.” They want to privatize public schools and hire proctors that will work for the minimum wage, so their hedge funds can make billions of dollars in profits that should be going to education.

    Higher education is failing too. Students are condemned to indentured servitude to payoff student loans. Young people have been indoctrinated that the value of education is to learn how to work for corporations and the military.

    College graduates discover that there are no jobs for their qualifications. Neoliberals stuck in the Eighteenth Century say the answer is that not everybody needs an education to be a widget or carry a gun. They want other people’s students to enroll in online schools pushed by their hedge funds, while their kids go to Harvard, Yale and MIT.

    An affluent society needs educated people. There is a cadre of potential teachers, healthcare workers, nutritionists, scientists, sociologists, historians, artists, engineers and administrators now working at meaningless minimum wage jobs. There is an abundance of opportunity for college graduates in an affluent society.

    New community centers could staff professionals to enrich the lives of seniors, teens and children. With people living longer, retired seniors could improve their lives and social activity by taking courses and enjoying the arts. Teens could have tutoring, learn to play chess, take music lessons, cooking classes, creative writing, languages, and have supervised sports. The possibilities for public investments and to improve the quality of life, and provide meaningful jobs are endless. Neoliberals want everybody to sit alone at home and watch TV.

    Malnourished and neglected children are unacceptable in an affluent society. The problem is not a lack of resources. It is because of unequal distribution. There is a shameful lack of prenatal care. As a result, infant mortality in the US is higher than every developed nation. It is 30 percent higher than even Cuba, which the neoliberals constantly chastise about its human rights.

    New parents could get healthcare, infant care and education in an affluent society. Instead, Eighteenth Century neoliberals want to kill Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid; and they want to privatize the Veterans Administration. Their greed is insatiable.

    Obama promised single-payer healthcare. The public got excited and wanted it. The Eighteenth Century neoliberals killed it in the womb. Long-term health care and homecare goes uncovered by any public insurance. Neoliberals let the old and disabled go without and die, as if those people are just useless eaters. Instead an affluent society would treat the old and disabled humanely; and single-payer healthcare would create more careers and professional jobs.

    Twice a day every workday the highways are in gridlock with automobiles idling, burning fossil fuel and polluting the air. Clean, fast and comfortable light-rail and motor coaches would be quicker, more comfortable and use less energy. Building and operating a Twenty-first Century mass transportation industry would make commuting time productive and leisurely; and create more skilled jobs.

    An affluent society should not neglect the unemployed. The public sector has the responsibility of full-employment and providing for those unemployed. Employees did not volunteer to be the risk-takers of capitalism. They should not be condemned to their fate because they were unlucky and chose the wrong industry or employer years ago.

    Society must also face the reality that some people are permanently unable to work because of social, emotional and health reasons. The unemployed need treatment, counseling, education and care; which would also create more jobs.

    These are just a few ideas, some from Galbraith’s The Affluent Society. As Galbraith said in 1958, the private sector is a king; the public sector is a pauper. They can both be royalty.

    The neoliberals and their alter-ego, the neocons, do not have any good ideas for the Twenty-first Century. They have caused financial disasters and endless wars, and they tell us not to expect better.

    Part of the public sector that is not a pauper but should be is the military. The military-industrial complex is wasting vast resources making machines of death. Society is spending trillions of dollars to send armies to invade other countries. We spend trillions of dollars in order to protect us from imaginary enemies and those that our wars have created. It does not make us any safer. The jobs that it creates do not add any value.

    The Eighteen Century neoliberals and the neoconservatives say that government economic planning will destroy our freedom, while they plan the economy for war and financial speculation. The neocons say the American people must give up the Bill of Rights in exchange for safety. The neoliberals say that austerity will bring prosperity. Instead we are less free and more poor. They are leading us down the road to fascism and serfdom.

    Let’s open our eyes and stop listening to the neoliberals.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41801.htm

    • Chooky 16.1

      +100…wow johnm….havent seen you around for a while and that is a very long report to make up for it…but a goodie! …thanx

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      n the 1940s the neoliberal’s idol, Friedrich von Hayek (1899-1992) wrote a thesis called The Road to Serfdom. It is a simple book in its Eighteenth Century theories about government and freedom. There is a comic book version, courtesy of General Motors. Hayek won the Nobel Prize for it.

      The Road to Serfdom is a load of bollocks. Everything that Hayek says in it that will happen under socialism is presently happening under the neo-liberal system. Socialism is, as a matter of fact, a defence against that trend.

      Building and operating a Twenty-first Century mass transportation industry would make commuting time productive and leisurely; and create more skilled jobs.

      But produce less profit for the oligarchs.

      An affluent society should not neglect the unemployed.

      A society that has an actual economic system won’t have any unemployed.

      As Galbraith said in 1958, the private sector is a king; the public sector is a pauper. They can both be royalty.

      Actually, the public sector should be the foundation of society providing all ubiquitous services (demand monopoly) with the private sector providing small, niche, services.

      The Eighteen Century neoliberals and the neoconservatives say that government economic planning will destroy our freedom, while they plan the economy for war and financial speculation.

      The neo-liberals are happy about their own planning which makes them richer but against the planning of society that would make sure everyone lived well and made them superfluous.

    • alwyn 16.3

      I started to read this but finally decided that there were so many statements that were wrong that I couldn’t trust any of it. Choosing some things, basically at random we have

      “John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) and Hayek were colleagues at the London School of Economics” Keynes was never at LSE. His only academic links were as a fellow of Kings College, Cambridge.

      Referring to Keynes you say, implying that he was overlooked that ” He was not awarded the Nobel Prize.” How could he have been? You have to be alive. Keynes died in 1946. The first prize in Economics was not awarded until 1969.

      You say that “During the Great Depression (1929-1939), President Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned to Keynes for advice about the Great Depression”
      In fact it was Keynes who approached Roosevelt and nothing at all happened. As J K Galbraith said in an interview
      “INTERVIEWER: Tell me if Keynes attempted to influence Roosevelt directly. Didn’t he try once in person and once with an open letter? Was he successful?
      JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH: Well, Keynes had a couple of conversations with Roosevelt, very famous, and they were deeply unsuccessful. Roosevelt’s system of thought did not extend to a conceptual notion of Keynesian economics”

      And so on. Nearly every paragraph contains something that is simply wrong.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.3.1

        Try looking at the logic instead as nothing you’ve said so far actually affects the logic or what happened economically and socially.

        • alwyn 16.3.1.1

          I tried but if the facts are wrong the claimed logic doesn’t make any sense.

          For example we get a statement the ” What is our obsession with economic growth and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), when an affluent society already produces all the private goods and services needed, Galbraith asked?”.
          Galbraith, by 1958 was a very wealthy man. Given his apparent lifestyle, which included things like owning a villa in Switzerland that he used for his skiing holidays I would think his annual income had to be in excess of $100,000/year.

          That was at a time when the average income for a US citizen was about $2,500/year. Galbraith may have had all the private goods and services HE desired but he was a very rich man.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.4

      And this:

      For completeness, comparative advantage played no role in his scheme; full employment was achieved through internal demand rather than external trade.

      But if nations can learn to provide themselves with full employment by their domestic policy … there need be no important economic forces calculated to set the interest of one country against that of its neighbours. There would still be room for the international division of labour and for international lending in appropriate conditions. But there would no longer be a pressing motive why one country need force its wares on another or repulse the offerings of its neighbour, not because this was necessary to enable it to pay for what it wished to purchase, but with the express object of upsetting the equilibrium of payments so as to develop a balance of trade in its own favour. International trade would cease to be what it is, namely, a desperate expedient to maintain employment at home by forcing sales on foreign markets and restricting purchases, which, if successful, will merely shift the problem of unemployment to the neighbour which is worsted in the struggle, but a willing and unimpeded exchange of goods and services in conditions of mutual advantage. (General Theory, pp. 382-3)

      Just how long have I been saying the same thing?

  15. Draco T Bastard 17

    This is (video) looking good. Much better public transport services next year for Auckland and here is the consultation document for it.

    • tinfoilhat 17.1

      Thanks for that DtB.

      However looking at the fares mine look to be going up by about 20%…ouch !

  16. McFlock 18

    Liberia declared ebola-free.

    Sierra Leone and Guinea still bad, though. And malaria, AIDS and everything else could do with the same international attention.

  17. Heartbleeding Liberal 19

    Was there discussion on the Labour proposal to link welfare with being on the roll? If so could someone please point me toward it.

  18. Clemgeopin@gmail.com 21

    Our banks make $12 million dollars of PROFIT every day!

    The big four Australian-owned lenders – ASB, ANZ, BNZ and Westpac – made a combined haul of $2.26 billion in the first half of the financial year.

    That was the equivalent of over $12 million a day, or $500 for every man, woman and child in the country.

    BASTARDS!
    The bosses should be put in jail for excessive profits and despicable exploitation of people.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/68435508/bank-bosses-speak-out-against-property-investor-rules

  19. imagined-conversations – overheard @ the little/labour schmooze-fest with big business:

    1st businessman:..’look andrew – we’re a bit worried about this capital gains tax policy you’ve had for the last two elections’..

    little:..’no worries – it’s gone – and it won’t be coming back..”

    2nd businessman:..’look andrew – we’re a bit worried about this idea floated the other day to end the tax-breaks we get on our investment-property mortgage-payments..what do you have to say about that..?’

    little:..’hah!..the other day was the first i even heard of that one – so no – you’ll be sweet..we won’t do that..’

    3rd businessman:..’look andrew – we’re a bit worried about rising wages under a labour govt. – what do you have to say about that..?’

    little:..’relax – we will be the same as the clark govt was..’nuff said..?..nothing will change in that area that much’..

    4th businessman:..’andrew – we’re a bit worried about the influence the green party would have on you in govt..’

    little:..’you can relax there too – didn’t you see our 2014-policies on mining/drilling etc..?..you have nothing to worry about there..

    ..and the greens were totally on board for all that – they just really want to be ministers..i’ll give them a couple of electric ministerial-limos – some more housing-insulation – they’ll be sweet..don’t you worry about them..”

    5th businessman:..’andrew – the radical-lefties keep calling for a financial-transaction tax – what will labour do about that..?’

    little:..’we will do nothing about that – we just never mention it..next question..?’

    6th businessman:..’andrew – there are all these calls from the media/bleeding heart liberals to ‘do something about poverty!’..will you just give them more money..?..will you raise benfit-levels..?’

    little:..relax..!..once again – i can promise you we will do the same as the clark labour govt did – things will stay the same – your taxes won’t rise..

    ..and once again – didn’t you see our policy on that at the last election..?..

    ..we said we would be the same as national in our treatment of beneficiaries –

    – and their benefits will only go up by the rate of inflation – under a labour govt. led by me..’

    7 th businessman:..’andrew – how do we know we can trust you to do what we want –

    what if we support you – agree that it’s labours’ turn – and then you turn on us.?..betray our support..’

    little:..’hey..!..i’m not silly..!..and it’s me..!..andrew..!..former head of the engineers’ union..!..remember..?

    ..what trouble did i ever give you guys when i was in that role..?

    ..i am a safe pair of hands for you..i’m not going to rock any boats…

    ..do we have a deal..?..’

    businessmen (in chorus..) ‘we have a deal..!’..

    (much handshaking and backslapping then ensued..)

    http://whoar.co.nz/2015/comment-whoar-imagined-conversations-overheard-labour-partybig-business-schmooze-fest/

    • Clemgeopin 22.1

      What is wrong with you Phil?

      The Labour party is reviewing its policies at the moment. Election is still two and a half years away. It would be foolish to announce policies on a ad hock basis haphazardly without proper review, without member input and without having policies that will get rejected by the voters.

      So, stop undermining the process and the leader by your stupid imagined ‘conversations’ harmful to Labour and the left cause.

      • phillip ure 22.1.1

        what – as far as policies/record that i wrote of there – is inaccurate..?

        • greywarshark 22.1.1.1

          @ phillip ure
          Please curb your enthusiasm – for being prescient. Just keep it in your head and don’t undermine the possible chance that we can get a Labour gummint in. That’s more important to try for rather than that you demonstrate how clever you are. (I thought they were clever, and sounded plausible but have a read of 400ppm and please could you do some satirical piece on that.)

          We talk about the awful future but seem cast when we should be doing something? We could do with some satire that motivates us.

          • phillip ure 22.1.1.1.1

            “..We could do with some satire that motivates us…’

            that is what – in my clumsy way – i am trying to do..

            ..trying to warn against what i see as an inevitablity..

            ..the re-run of planet/poor-people-fucking-over/neo-lib clark-times – as the best we can possibly hope for..?

            ..really..?..that’s as good as it can possibly get..?

            ..i don’t think so..eh..?

            ..labour are like a timid wee mouse – scared of its’ own shadow..

            • greywarshark 22.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you are right Phillip. But as to your point that what you are portraying is inevitable. Perhaps you could write some tongue-in-cheek satire where you are showing Labour behaving in an exemplary way, which we know is only a possibility. They would then satirise themselves if they continued along their merry path down one-way streets the wrong way, expecting all oncoming traffic will magically part for their successful progress.

              • “..But as to your point that what you are portraying is inevitable…”

                no..it is not inevitable – if i thought that i wouldn’t bother..

                ..i am warning against the dangers of just doing again what they have already done to date – and as recently as the ’14 election policy of s.f.a. for the poorest..

                ..and like i said..all those policies/clark govt outcomes – are facts…

                • greywarshark

                  @phillip u
                  I think what I had in mind is like the piece The Civilian has done recently – I switched to it from TS r-h side – and it’s a good one on the passenger who complained because his Jetstar flight left on time.
                  If you wrote about what Labour should do before they do it, it will be something to follow up and see what actions they actually tike.

      • Clemgeopin 22.1.2

        oops..
        What I meant to write is that we need to have
        ‘ policies that will be widely or sufficiently supported and NOT rejected by the voters’. After all, what use are policies if we are not able to get enough votes to form a progressive government to make fair changes to society?
        Wishful thinking doesn’t do it.

        • miravox 22.1.2.1

          Clemgeopin – does your Name read as you want it to? Otherwise maybe you could see if the moderators can change what’s already posted while you redo the name field for your next comment.

          • Clemgeopin 22.1.2.1.1

            Thanks. I must have inadvertently made the error or something strange must have happened! I hope a moderator will be able to delete it asap.

        • Clemgeopin 22.1.2.2

          Damn!

          Not sure how my email address got in those above comments of mine! Strange, looks like I made an error in my user name, though I don’t think I did!

          COULD a moderator please delete the email reference there please?

  20. greywarshark 23

    Local Bodies in the right hand column has a thorough summary of where NZ is on its slide into nonentity from being a bright star as a little country that tries. Well worth a look.
    I was thinking about the Falkland Islands down low on the globe as we are, but on the other side of the world. How do they get on? I think they are reliant on farming – I heard they had tried to differentiate themselves with being all organic.

    (Interesting radio interview on 9toNoon where an ag scientist commented on those dairy farmers trying to increase milk volumes who had upped the herd beyond carrying capacity and had bought in extra feed (probably palm cuts). If they had not managed their need and limited their orders, not beyond a certain price for feed, they made nothing extra!)

    Well the Falklands sound rather like NZ would like to.
    The Falkland Islands is a self-sufficient country with a long history and unique culture. The people of the Falkland Islands have the right to self-determination, …

    A remote and beautiful group of islands, with a temperate climate, friendly, welcoming people, unbelievably rich wildlife and a unique way of life – that is the ……

    Open source travel guide to Falkland Islands, featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. Free and reliable …

    The C.I.A. also provides a guide for interested people.
    Features map and brief descriptions of the geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military and transnational issues.

    (NZ also has a CIA briefing and I note they have a flags of the world page which could be a helpful reference if we get a chance to design one ourselves. )

    The Argentinians are becoming restive, and the British are vowing to resist any moves to take the islands. In fact they plan to spend 180 million pounds over a few years.
    That’s nice. And they have 1200 troops there. Is it a strategic base for the Brits. They were not so caring about us over the years. Were we more expendable.
    edited

  21. Do you think Britain will leave EU because that’s what Cameron wanted before?

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