Open mike 11/07/2015

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 am, July 11th, 2015 - 27 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

27 comments on “Open mike 11/07/2015”

  1. r0b 1

    The Nation are teasing a big story for this morning…

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1

      I don’t watch TV3 anymore. It has taught me to wait the additional minute before it is posted elsewhere.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Really? Open Mike at this time of night?

    Oh well, I can work with that.

    TED Talk: Everything you know about addiction is wrong
    Huff Post article:

    But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

    In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

    The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.

    In the video he says (paraphrased): Something has gone wrong with us, as a society/group.
    And he’s right. That which has gone wrong is capitalism and it’s attack on community and society itself. Thatcher and the neo-liberals say that there is no society because they understand that a society hanging together can’t be abused the way that a bunch of individuals cut off from their friends and neighbours can be.

    • r0b 2.1

      Really? Open Mike at this time of night?

      I wanted to get the first comment / announcement in (since I intend to be asleep in the morning!) and it wouldn’t let me unless the post was published. (Lynn – think we used to be able to comment on a post in the queue?).

      • Save NZ 2.1.1

        +1 Draco

      • lprent 2.1.2

        Yeah I am sure we did as well…. I’ll have a look when I have some time.

        You can do it by publishing private, commenting, and then put it back into scheduled.

        BTW: How did the install go?

    • SHG 2.2

      I wouldn’t believe Johann Hari if he told me the sky was blue.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.3

      Rat….cage…isn’t that most of society nowdays?

    • Something has gone wrong with us, as a society/group.
      And he’s right. That which has gone wrong is capitalism…

      This is why pre-capitalist western societies had no experience of drug abuse and addiction, right? And also why “really-existing socialism” societies never had the problem?

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.4.1

        Partly irrelevant.

        The clue is in understanding why different strata and classes of society today might have widely differing levels of response to addictive drugs and the prevalence of drug abuse.

        Although I will say that capitalism + criminalism has made the drug trade into a huge trans-national trade worth the GDP of entire countries, and that major powers like the Americans (and the CIA) have supported that.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.4.2

        This is why pre-capitalist western societies…

        Western societies have always been capitalist right back to Sumer. Very little is known before then due to the lack of written records. It was out of Ancient Sumer that bans on usury and 7 year jubilees came.

        Other societies that weren’t capitalist don’t seem to have the same problem with drugs as we do.

        And also why “really-existing socialism” societies never had the problem?

        Of course they had the same problem – they were still capitalist.

        The societies without a drug problem are the ones that tended more to the communist state where people were looked after and had connections to those around them. All those things that the capitalist state removes as it concentrates on competition amongst people as it drives for ever higher profits.

  3. maui 3

    Loving the earlyness of this Open Mike, catering to the overseas listeners. Also allows for ridiculous comments to be made and not be read for many hours.

  4. North 4

    Well who would have thunk it aye……?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11478719

    Especially since that nice Mr Key and numbers of the real estate chappies and chapettes all coining it hard have pooh-poohed the idea.

    Then there’s this –
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11478720

    “FO !” comes to mind. How many sweatshops need I own to entitle me to say what Mr Foreign Investor says ?

  5. mickysavage 5

    Another day another broken promise to the good people of Christchurch.

    Last year the Government and Christchurch Council signed the Christchurch Housing accord under which the Government promised to “establish a $75 million Christchurch Housing Accord Fund to develop these and other suitable sites that may be identified in future.”

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/all/files/Christchurch_Housing_Accord.pdf

    But the money has been taken away by Smith and transferred to Auckland. From Stuff this morning:

    “The Government has diverted $52 million of funding meant to help Christchurch’s housing problem to Auckland.

    As part of the Christchurch Housing Accord, signed between the Government and the Christchurch City Council in September, the Crown agreed to invest $75m to construct 180 new homes on two council-owned sites in Sydenham.

    The new Sydenham homes were expected to provide temporary accommodation for residents getting their earthquake-damaged homes fixed and would later be sold as affordable homes on the open market.

    Treasury documents released to Christchurch East MP and Labour associate housing spokesperson Poto Williams this week show $52.2m of the $75m promised will instead be spent on housing in Auckland.

    Williams said the re-allocation was outrageous and neglected Christchurch’s dire housing issues.

    “It’s basically saying ‘we think the Auckland situation is so bad, we need to focus on that and everyone else can shoulder the costs’.””

    The terms of the accord are perfectly clear. I wonder if the Council was consulted.

  6. Tautoko Mangō Mata 6

    So BIg Pharma is using the TPPA to
    1. bypass the necessity of having to contest US regulations
    2. inflict their desired regulation changes on the rest of the TPPA members.

    Bloomberg) — “The Obama administration is caught in a trap as it tries to bring home a trade deal with its Pacific Rim partners. Some of the chief beneficiaries may be big drug companies like Novartis AG, Roche Holding AG, and Pfizer Inc. while the losers could be consumers in both the U.S. and the region.

    The administration says it’s bound by congressionally imposed instructions to try to get as much current U.S. law as possible into trade accords — including stringent protections for patented drugs that it’s repeatedly tried to ease at home to encourage more cost-saving generics.

    The disconnect has put U.S. negotiators in the position of pushing provisions in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership that would preclude the administration from making further attempts to win the legal changes.

    It also has negotiators pressing the region’s developing countries to sign onto a schedule for adopting the stronger rules, reversing previous exemptions to allow them easier access to cheap medicines.

    Even though U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman says the talks are “in a closing mode,” American proposals for tough intellectual-property protections for drugs are meeting resistance from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other Pacific Rim nations. Chile’s foreign minister, for one, has said flatly that his country won’t accept some key provisions.”

    http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-NR4G50SYF01S01-00OGFB8ACUR6JDP696G4VA0G8N

  7. Lanthanide 7

    Article about how the government is using accounting tricks to screw the Christchurch recovery (hence why the progress has been so slow) while performing a smoke-and-mirrors deception so they can still claim their 2014-2015 surplus.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/70084887/how-much-is-the-government-really-spending-to-fix-christchurch

    I’m going to quote quite a few bits as I think it is a very interesting article and I recommend anyone who is interested in this government’s pitiful management of the economy should read it to get a glimpse at what they’re really up to.

    However, what matters for the earthquake recovery is that it has left the Government permanently short of ready cash because every dollar spent is going to hammer that year’s surplus target.

    Preston believes this is why he can see all sorts of accounting games being played when he looks at the Crown books.

    Yet while the Government is being careful with its own money, Christchurch City Council (CCC) and Christchurch ratepayers are being pressed to spend every cent that can be scraped up on the recovery. Rates are being pushed to unheard of levels. Council debt is being stretched to its legal limit. The pressure is on to sell off the port, the airport, and every other asset the city owns. CCC finance spokesman Cr Raf Manji broadly agrees with Preston’s analysis, saying the council’s recovery spending will be around $6.5b in the end – but off a tiny revenue basis compared to the Crown.

    So Manji says there is the impression being given of open-handed support for Christchurch, yet people can also see the puzzling slow-down of some of the anchor projects, the silence over what will happen to the residential red zone, and the likelihood of the city now being left with an expensive legacy of half mended roads and long-term land drainage problems.

    Again the Government’s headline number, the one it always likes to quote, is that it is making a $16.5b investment in the Canterbury recovery. Yet the first thing to knock off that is the $8b which is simply EQC cash.

    Preston says he finds it a bit much to count the natural disaster fund as a Crown contribution – especially as there is no word on how that particular pot is going to be refilled to pay for future earthquakes. And then scrutiny of EQC’s accounts reveals the $2b shortfall figure has been steadily shrinking.

    Due to various savings being found – and he notes that the first line of the Minister’s letter of expectations to EQC states: “Returning to surplus in 2014-2015 is a key priority for the Government.” – the $2b has become $1b and now sits at around $500m.

    So once a repair alliance, the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (Scirt), was formed, it simply started mending every damaged pipe and street it came across.

    But by late 2012, it was realised the bill was likely to be double the early estimates. The damage was always worse once the ground was dug. So the Government changed the rules.

    Scirt was told to recost the repairs based on what it would take to get the infrastructure back to an average pre-quake level of service, not what it would require to fix completely. Brownlee said Christchurch shouldn’t expect the Government to pay for betterment.

    This allowed the Government to cap its infrastructure contribution at $1.8b – a sharp reduction on the $2.3b CCC had been expecting.

    Preston says what also catches his accountant’s eye is the way the Government used the cost share to capitalise as much of the Blueprint spending as possible.

    That is, projects were treated not as operating expenditure – cash spending that would affect that year’s surplus calculation – but instead as a capital investment, something that was being bought by the state to produce an eventual financial return.

    Once capitalised like this, the provision could be entered in a different column – rolled into the general national debt, the $80b of borrowings, to which no one was paying much attention.

    As an accounting trick, Preston says the corporate world does this all the time. An expense becomes an asset. But it has consequences. It builds in assumptions that later have to be realised.

    Take the $400m the Government has spent on compulsorily acquiring land for the anchor projects. That is money going out the door in any particular year. But because the land has been booked as a capital asset, it doesn’t come off the surplus figure. Rather it is something new the Crown owns as a positive investment.

    Of course the expense will have to be reconciled one day when the anchor project actually gets built. If the Crown simply gives an anchor to the city as a gift – as people seemed to be getting the impression would be the case with the metro sports facility, the convention centre, the green frame – then suddenly that land investment will have zero value. Its purchase price has to be recognised as a cash out-going.

    Or even if the Government has to acknowledge a write-down of the booked land value – as it very well might with the East Frame being sold now for apartment blocks having been bought originally at commercial building land prices – then again, ouch, a direct hit on the budget surplus column.

    Preston says this is where some of the delays and secrecy that surround the anchor projects start to make more sense. The cost share shuffled a large chunk of the promised core Crown spend – he calculates $3.6b of the $8b non-EQC money – safely out of the surplus spotlight. The question is then when can the Government afford to take the hits involved in parking the expense?

    For instance, it was an open secret that Fletcher Living had won the East Frame tender earlier this year. However the official announcement was bafflingly delayed until just the other week – a few days after the June 30 close of the 2014/2015 financial year.

    Preston says tally it up and this is why there feels to be such a distance between the spending promises and the spending reality.

    First that headline $16.5b contribution figure has to halved because $8b of it is EQC insurance money. Take out the red zone and AMI bailout and that gives you the $6.7b core Crown spend. Then because cash is precious, there are the capitalisation tricks to park the costs and his figure of $2b for actual operating spending up to 2014, the last available audited year.

    Dividing up the $2b, Preston says it amounts to $571m for sewers and drains, $293m for roads, $397m for Blueprint land, $393m for schools, hospitals, law courts and other Crown buildings, $220m for the business support package, plus a collection of sundry amounts like $28m for the AMI temporary rugby stadium.

    So certainly not nothing, Preston concedes. But is it actually that generous in light of what the Government will have been earning in taxes on a largely insurance-fuelled rebuild? And has it been travelling with the handbrake on for the past few years because there has always been that election surplus goal hovering in the background?

    • How would we know though if Treasury is ever likely to attain this elusive tax goal? It is something I don’t think they will, especially if the current economic crises overseas and our not so rock star economy combine to form a super crisis.

  8. Penny Bright 8

    Can Fonterra representatives see the TPPA text?

    If not – how can they be sure that Minister of Trade Tim Groser is acting in the best interests of the NZ dairy industry?

    Penny Bright

  9. greywarshark 9

    Another finely polished piece of trash from limping career politician Nick Smith.
    Blame Labour for commenting on the high percentage of 40% Chinese names in the list of buyers of Auckland property. That is racist. Pointing out trends and facts must be discouraged by Notional.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/278491/labour-accused-of-playing-race-card

    And an opportunity for Notional to strike a home run on a number of concerns – poor housing, lack of employment, bad health from overcrowding and/or unsuitable whares for the peeps. They could embark on a holy war on cold, damp, illness producing housing but they actually don’t want to do anything for the poor in the houses. Because they are going to shovel them off in Richard Prebble style (as in our railways).
    He said he was so eager to get shot of railways that he would have given the system away. Now the gift in pass the parcel is state housing, rather dilapidated, like NZs standards for people’s lifestyle.

    Nick Smith is the Minister, but he can’t alter very tight specifications required for rented houses, like having more than one electricity outlet in a room. Why can’t he divide the list of wants into two? One of needs, for immediate or sooner attention, and one for later to improve standards to those now considered basic for the 21st century?

    Radionz reported – A survey of 400 Housing New Zealand homes carried out in April 2014 found only 4 percent passed the WOF with flying colours, while 80 percent needed urgent or high priority repairs...
    The homes were checked against 49 criteria developed by an expert advisory panel, Housing New Zealand and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment….

    But the papers show 29 percent were not properly insulated, 28 percent were not safe or secure and 42 percent did not have the essential amenities like a working kitchen or bathroom sink….
    Just under half (48 percent) of the homes needed urgent repairs – which is work required within two days or the tenants would have to move out. A further
    32 percent needed high priority repairs done within 10 days…

    The study estimated it would cost $230,492 to bring all the properties in the trial up to the WOF standard. Applying that across Housing New Zealand’s 60,000 homes, the repair bill swells to $34.5 million.

    Nick Smith’s reply fudged the issues in his characteristic way.
    Dr Smith said…the scheme was not feasible.
    “Other issues like window stays, glass visibility safety strips and hot water temperature are best improved by education.”
    Dr Smith said the cost of regular inspections was also too high and many criteria were already covered by existing regulation.
    He said most state homes were in better condition than their private sector counterparts.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/278493/cost-of-rental-wofs-too-high-for-govt

  10. Charles 10

    Katherine Mansfield: Pissing people off since October 14, 1922.

    Or so I thought.

    (tl;dr – don’t worry, most of the writing below is not my opinion)

    Do you like quotes? The kind you’ll find in the opening pages of books, or now more commonly, attached to motivational posters: out-of-context, edited, sometimes even misrepresented? It’s a travesty. On the first pages of Helen Brown’s book*, “In Deep: Tales from Over the horizon” (1996) there is a quote:

    “Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”

    Those words have been plucked from Katherine Mansfield’s Journal, an entry dated 14 October, 1922. Even though I tried to forget those words while I read about Helen and the people and places she visited, they pissed me off. Trite. The quote sounded trite. I hate having to read books to know what the book I’m reading it talking about; and waiting for books to arrive is like waiting the final 5 seconds for the microwave to heat a cup of instant coffee. I don’t have all second! Ping!

    They sound quite authoritative, those words of Katherine’s, don’t they?

    A directive from beyond what is now the grave, which you could imagine – if you didn’t know – are being made from some hotel room balcony on the Riviera, before see threw herself once more into another adventure of travel and thrills. As they are, they’re cold, dismissive, forcefully pushing you away to your own ends, practically masculine in outlook; or as vapid, elevated and distant as who we think collectively she might have been as an historical heroine.

    Your self-assured Uncle might tell you something similar – that nothing that is not difficult is worth the effort, to face your fear – when you say, perhaps during a rare family dinner together, that you can’t decide which subject to major in at school. Or perhaps, if you’re about to write a book that reveals who you are to an audience you’ve never met, people who will judge you in ways you can’t control, and you know where your skeletons are and want to avoid them, it could be just the push you need as you close your eyes and take the metaphorical leap.

    But Katherine Mansfield was a real person in her own right, complex and nuanced, just like you or me.

    She once said, assertively and conclusively, that she was a writer first – and a woman second. Her journal is full of quotable claims. Life isn’t one line of words though, is it. Quotes can help you up, or point the way, but put them back into context and you’ll discover what was really being said. You see what the “hardest thing on Earth” really was, not for you, but for her. Is it right to appropriate her words as metaphors only? Want to know what we missed along with the context? Sweet Jesus, only the whole world as she saw it, as a woman and a writer, at the moment she felt she might depart!

    If you’ve ever kept a journal of sorts, full of your thoughts, dreams or ideas, or just a plain diary of what you did each day… which milk you bought, who smiled at you on the train… you’ll begin to see patterns. Ideas and flashes of themes appear first as words and phrases and then later as central elements all of their own.

    On September 30th, 1922, Katherine Mansfield’s journal said:

    “‘Do you know what individuality is?’
    ‘No.’
    ‘Consciousness of will. To be conscious that you have a will and can act.’
    Yes, it is. It’s a glorious saying.’”

    This isolated thought shared with herself was the result of a discussion she had with an English social thinker and then Editor of The New Age, Alfred Orage, a month before.

    People, she said, give up being complete people after their youth. They give up on themselves, lock away the passion and enforce their will on life, take control of anything and everything and “become adults”; swapping their hearts and imagination for smaller, fragmented, lesser wishes. Her view of New Zealand society was… unflattering… to say the least.

    She was quite ill by then, separated from her lover while she sought remedies. Her comments on individuality would soon become a candid and beautiful piece of writing.

    (Below is the complete context of her Journal entry.)

    October 14 Orage goes to Paris.

    October 14 I have been thinking this morning until it seems I may get things straightened out if I try to write…. where I am.

    Ever since I came to Paris I have been as ill as ever. In fact, yesterday I thought I was dying. It is not my imagination. My heart is so exhausted and so tied up that I can only walk to the taxi and back. I get up at midi and go to bed at 5:30. I try to ‘work’ by fits and starts, but the time has gone by. I cannot work. Ever since April I have done practically nothing. But why? Because, although Manoukhin’s treatment improved my blood and made me look well and did have a good effect on my lungs, it made my heart not one scrap better, and I only won that improvement by living the life of a corpse in the Victoria Palace Hotel.

    My spirit is nearly dead. My spring of life is so starved that it’s just not dry. Nearly all my improved health is pretence –acting. What does it amount to? Can I walk? Only creep. Can I do anything with my hands or body? Nothing at all. I am an absolutely hopeless invalid. What is my life? It is the existence of a parasite. And five years have passed now, and I am in straiter bonds than ever.

    Ah, I feel a little calmer already to be writing. Thank God for writing! I am so terrified of what I am going to do. All the voices out of the ‘Past’ say ‘Don’t do it’. Bogey says ‘M. is a scientist. He does his part. It’s up to you to do yours.’ But that is no good at all. I can no more cure my psyche than my body. Less it seems to me. Isn’t Bogey himself, perfectly fresh and well, utterly depressed by boils on his neck? Think of five years’ imprisonment. Someone has got to help me get out. If that is a confession of weakness –it is. But it’s only lack of imagination that calls it so. And who is going to help me? Remember Switzerland: ‘I am helpless.’ Of course, he is. One prisoner cannot help another. Do I believe in medicine alone? No never. It seems to me childish and ridiculous to suppose one can be cured like a cow if one is not a cow. And here, all these years, I have been looking for someone who agreed with me. I have heard of Gurdjieff who seems not only to agree but to know infinitely more about it.

    Why hesitate?

    Fear. Fear of what? Doesn’t it come down to fear of losing Bogey? I believe it does. But, good heavens! Face things. What have you of him now? What is your relationship? He talks to you – sometimes – and then goes off. He thinks of you tenderly. He dreams of a life with you some day when the miracle has happened. You are important to him as a dream. Not as a living reality. For you are not one. What do you share? Almost nothing. Yet there is a deep, sweet, tender flooding of feeling in my heart which is love for him and longing for him. But what is the good of it as things stand? Life together, with me ill, is simply torture with happy moments. But it’s not life. I have tried through my illness (with one or two disastrous exceptions) to prevent him facing wholly what was happening. I ought to have tried to get him to face them. But I couldn’t. The result is he doesn’t know me. He only knows Wig-who-is-going-to-be-better-some-day. No. You do know that Bogey and you are only a kind of dream of what might be. And that might-be never never can be true unless you are well. And you won’t get well by ‘imagining’ or ‘waiting’ or trying to bring off that miracle yourself.

    Therefore if the Grand Lama of Thibet promised to help you –how can you hesitate? Risk! Risk anything! Care not for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.

    True, Tchehov didn’t. Yes, but Tchehov died. And let us be honest. How much do we know of Tchehov from his letters? Was that all? Of course not. Don’t you suppose he had a whole longing life of which there is hardly a word? Then read the final letters. He has given up hope. If you de-sentimentalize those final letters they are terrible. There is no more Tchehov. Illness has swallowed him.

    But perhaps to people who are not ill, all this is nonsense. They have never travelled this road. How can they see where I am? All the more reason to go boldly forward alone. Life is not simple. In spite of all we say about the mystery of Life, when we get down to it, we want to treat it as though it were a child’s tale…

    Now, Katherine, what do you mean by health? And what do you want it for?

    Answer: By health I mean the power to live a full, adult, living, breathing life in close contact with what I love –the earth and the wonders thereof – the sea – the sun. All that we mean when we speak of the external world. I want to enter into it, to be part of it, to live in it, to learn from it, to lose all that is superficial and acquired in me and to become a conscious, direct human being. I want by understanding myself, to understand others. I want to be all that I am capable of becoming so that I may be (and here I have stopped and waited and waited and it’s no good –there’s only one phrase that will do) a child of the sun. About helping others, about carrying a light and so on, it seems false to say a single word. Let it be that. A child of the sun.

    Then I want to work. At what? I want to live so that I work with my hands and my feeling and my brain. I want a garden, a small house, grass, animals, books, pictures, music. And out of this, the expression of this, I want to be writing. (Though I may write about cabmen. That’s no matter).

    But warm, eager, living life –to be rooted in life – to learn, to desire to know, to feel, to think, to act. That is what I want. And nothing less. That is what I must try for.

    I wrote this for myself. I shall now risk sending it to Bogey. He may do with it what he likes. He must see how much I love him.

    And when I say ‘I fear’ –don’t let that disturb you, dearest heart. We all fear when we are in waiting-rooms. Yet we must pass beyond them, and if the other can keep calm, it is all the help we can give each other.

    Suppose, if this worries you, you show it to Dunning? I trust Dunning in spite of my thinking he did not really solve your problem. Let him see that, too. He will understand.

    And this all sounds very strenuous and serious. But now that I have wrestled with it, it’s no longer so. I feel happy –deep down. May you be happy too.

    I’m going to Fontainebleau on Monday and I’ll be back here Tuesday night of Wednesday morning. All is well.

    Doctor Young, the London man who has joined Gudjieff, came to see me to-day and told me about the life there. It sounds wonderfully good and simple and what one needs.

    It won’t fit on a motivational poster, but why would you try? Katherine Mansfield died 10:30pm, January 9, 1923.

    *Cheers, greywarshark.

  11. maui 11

    Not sure if anyone saw this on TV1 news tonight. It was a surprise for me to actually see that TV1 had attempted to cover this story:
    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/auckland-council-cracking-down-on-freedom-campers-in-central-city-q01021

    There was also a story in the Herald a couple of weeks ago about people living in cars. In both cases the media are good at presenting it as a lifestyle choice and not a fundamental societal issue that people literally do not have a home to go to.

    • Lara 11.1

      It’s deeply disturbing how our MSM and much of the middle class like to frame homelessness as a “choice”. And it’s disturbing that they appear to actually believe it is!

      They ignore that the rate of homelessness is a direct function of the wider economy. As is unemployment. When the economy does well… employment increases, unemployment decreases, homelessness decreases. When the economy is not doing well unemployment and homelessness increase. The relationship is constant and direct. It seems amazingly obvious and simple to me….

      To reduce it to an issue of individual choice is convenient because then no one has to do anything about it. And particularly the government. They then don’t have to create an economic environment that creates enough jobs for citizens and enough housing for everyone.

      Homelessness is pretty simple. People are homeless because they have no home!

      There was an experiment done in London where they gave money to homeless people with zero strings attached. It actually worked, it reduced homelessness and was actually cheaper than the targeted interventions which are the norm.

      Now, it was a small experiment. But the results are good enough for wider experiments to be done.

  12. greywarshark 12

    Some reading there Charles. She died of tuberculosis and I thought of George Orwell, Chekhov too, and did some reading on it. It was quite fashionable to die of it apparently! Such great thinkers, such a loss especially when Katherine was trying to plan for a new life and she was only 35 years, George Orwell 46 years.

    But among the poor it wasn’t so elevated. And I’m thinking that NZ is developing the conditions for an outbreak of further illnesses of the 19th and 20th centuries from neglect by leaders of decent conditions similar to the circumstances referred to in the Wikipedia reports. .

    White Plague
    The tuberculosis epidemic in Europe, which probably started in the 17th century and which lasted two hundred years, was known as the Great White Plague. Death by tuberculosis was considered inevitable, and it was the principal cause of death in 1650.
    The high population density, as well as the poor sanitary conditions that characterized most European and North American cities, created a perfect environment for its propagation….

    In large cities the poor had high rates of tuberculosis. Public-health physicians and politicians typically blamed both the poor themselves and their ramshackle tenement houses (conventillos) for the spread of the dreaded disease.
    eople ignored public-health campaigns to limit the spread of contagious diseases, such as the prohibition of spitting on the streets, the strict guidelines to care for infants and young children, and quarantines that separated families from ill loved ones.[55]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_tuberculosis

  13. adam 13

    For a social democrat Bernie is all right

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