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Open mike 12/09/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 12th, 2020 - 143 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open 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 …

143 comments on “Open mike 12/09/2020 ”

  1. vto 1

    Apologies for repeating this but it just keeps getting repeated doesn't it…

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/122741361/this-just-cannot-happen-95-billion-at-risk-as-horticulture-sector-struggles-to-fill-25anhour-jobs

    These business people need to grow up and play by market rules. Put the wages up. Try $30 hour, or $35 hour, or heaven forbid $40 hour. See what happens. They are happy to take advantage of market conditions when it works in their favour, but when it works against them its all wah wah wah cry to nanny state. Pathetic children.

    The bullshit is thick in the air. Workers have no sympathy for them. They are authors of their own demise.

    I wish they would stfu – tired of hearing and reading this issue.

    It is the most bullshit issue in the land

    • Pat 1.1

      There is sympathy to be had for them (and theirs)..they will be victims of the dysfunctional model as much as the rest of us

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        It's a dysfunctional model that they've been championing for 40 years, so, no sympathy for them.

        • Pat 1.1.1.1

          'They' are us….the model has been supported by everyone in one form or another.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            Not all of us have been championing capitalism.

            • Pat 1.1.1.1.1.1

              if you read what I wrote you will note I said 'supporting in one form or another'….not championing.

              Have you always bought local?seasonal?

              Are you are user of the health system?

              Do you make your purchasing decisions on price?

              Do you only use/consume that which you can make yourself?

              Have you ever had credit, or expected a return on savings?

              The problem is systemic, and unless you are a hermit living in a cave somewhere your actions/decisions support it even if you ignore political action.

              We can (justifiably) complain about the distribution of that which we produce but not how much we demand by our actions.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Did you notice that the majority of people actually didn't want the Rogernomic adjustments that brought in the present model of capitalism?

                There's a point where have to accept that the only reason why we have the system that we have is because our democratically elected officials went against our wishes and that they're still doing it.

                Yes, we support the system that's in place but that's because have no choice because we're not a democratic country and then we get used to it.

                • Pat

                  Rogernomics did not create the demand (it did impact the distribution) and to state that we have no choice highlights the systemic nature….there is choice ,just not one we are prepared to take.

                • mikesh

                  Did you notice that the majority of people actually didn't want the Rogernomic adjustments that brought in the present model of capitalism?

                  No we didn't notice that. We did notice, however, that they were given a second term.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I still remember it. Most did not want the Rogernomic reforms. 4th Labour's second term came about because people still didn't trust National and still didn't truly appreciate just what Labour were up to.

                    4th National got in because they implied, pretty heavily, that they were going to undo Rogernomics and then they went harder.

                    If we didn't have FPP in 1993 National would have been out but all the wasted votes ensured that they got back in.

                    Then we went to our first MMP election and people voted in NZFirst because they implied that they were going to go with Labour and would undo the reforms. Except, once they got in, they went with National. They did slow National down somewhat but the reforms continued.

                    It goes on. Our democratic government is littered with it not doing what the people wanted and voting for change achieving no change at all.

                    We are not a democracy, never have been and, until we take power from government and govern ourselves, we never will be.

    • uncookedselachimorpha 1.2

      Completely agree. They offer less than $4/h more than the living wage (which is the absolute minimum needed for a basic life in nz) and think workers should be flocking to them. Pay more!

      • Barfly 1.2.1

        That $25.00 per hour is probably based on the bin rate certainly not achievable by all

      • RedBaronCV 1.2.2

        It's not just the hourly rates. I went to one of the hiring sites out of curiosity and the expectation seemed to be 60 hours plus a week and accommodation that you could pay for out of the minimum wages. Plus all of these people desperately wanting labour basically had a job ad that said jobs available contact XYZ. No mention of location type of work estimated starting date hourly rate etc just nothing.

        It has also as far as I can see suffered from the outsourcing model. Once the individual grower paid the workers direct and they organised it around an area. Now it is a lot of corporate orchards, gangmasters etc and this overhead has to be paid for out of the picker wages essentially.

        Plus the fruit picking looks like an industry that has invested zero in any form of improvement apart from maybe espaliered apple trees. Rather than people running around with huge carrying weights – dropping fruit onto soft touch collecting services temporary walk ways – there must be plenty of ideas out there.

        And some of these areas could well invest in all of the year multi skilled workforces that went from pruning to picking etc etc.

        Maybe to start with a backstop arrangement for an area through maybe welfare that gave permanent employment with the individual growers taking on paying into the scheme and training according to their needs. Then gradually turning the worker co operative over to the workers in an area.

        Actually the growers could design such a scheme for themselves to give better employment and maybe get a little support to implement. Anything would be better than the current whining which is moving from pruning to calving to picking etc

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      How's that's $25/hour worked out?

      Because last time I saw this in the papers it was a contract rate per very large container of apples picked. Somebody not used to it isn't going to make minimum wage no matter how hard they work.

      And, being contract, they then have to work out their taxes and expenses and other legal stuff. Once that happens the minimum wage is far gone.

    • Ad 1.4

      That wage depends on how much per box the global market for our horticulture products is prepared to pay for them.

      We're a low-wage, low-productivity, low R&D economy. Have been for two centuries.

      Many of our horticultural lines do make global margins. But under our model we're always going to need low wage workers to harvest our commodity lines.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1

        We're a low-wage, low-productivity, low R&D economy. Have been for two centuries.

        No, we used to do serious R&D. As I said a few weeks ago – HMS Achilles had NZ developed RADAR installed on it. It just never got the support that it needed to become successful in developing product lines. Too much focus on low pay, low return farming.

        But under our model we're always going to need low wage workers to harvest our commodity lines.

        Then it can only be said that its time to dump that failed model.

        • Ad 1.4.1.1

          We did a bit, and that era lasted about 20 years.

          I don't see any party likely to get into Parliament that will turn us into a high-tech, high productivity, low-mass, high wage economy.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1.1.1

            Neither do I despite the fact that becoming a high tech economy is what we need to do.

            • JohnSelway 1.4.1.1.1.1

              "… becoming a high tech economy is what we need to do."

              Agree. I've always had the idea that cap. gains be applied for houses but offset with tax incentives for R&D

        • True. I recall teaching in a school that looked at a NZ designed colour computer system in the 80s. Killed by the Apple 2e which was offered in bulk at prices NZ product couldn't compete with.

          But the NZ designed computer was streets ahead at that time.

      • AB 1.4.2

        If that's the case then the income has to be allocated not as direct wages but through the 'social wage' (free at the point of use healthcare, tertiary education, subsidised state-built housing … whatever). It will still have to be paid for – and pretty much by the same sorts of people as those who are offering low wages. The very definition of a free lunch is when the brutalities of 'market discipline' get imposed on one group, while another escapes them.

      • Stuart Munro 1.4.3

        It's a shame there wasn't any joined-up thinking there.

        Massive rent increases, the product of allowing capital to inflate our property markets, means workers would make a net loss if they stayed cheap and cheerful.

        So, fix it, government, or watch the fruit rot.

        • Ad 1.4.3.1

          I'd prefer to see orchardists invest in robotic harvesting. Get rid of low wage workers for horticulture as much as possible.

          We're getting into it, but uptake is slow.

          https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/robotic-apple-picker-takes-over-hawkes-bay-fruit-harvest-in-world-first

          • Draco T Bastard 1.4.3.1.1

            I'd prefer to see orchardists invest in robotic harvesting. Get rid of low wage workers for horticulture as much as possible.

            Every job that can be done by robot should be done by robot. That's pretty much all the low wage jobs gone.

            Question: Why are business people still building retail stores? Haven't they heard of the internet?

            Now, what do we replace it with?

            My suggestion is going full R&D with a full 25% of the working age population in it. Of course, that would mean making education free (again) and that government would be pushing massive amounts into that R&D so that we even end up with robotic manufacturing from our own resources.

            • Ad 1.4.3.1.1.1

              It's lovely as a free floating idea, but we don't have the commercial culture that will do that. Regrettably.

              Our university robotics and mechatronics courses are full to the gills, but there's limited opportunities for those graduates here. There are more than there use to be.

              Even our most advanced companies with some success in this field, like Dunedin's Scott Technologies, got bought out.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Our university robotics and mechatronics courses are full to the gills, but there's limited opportunities for those graduates here.

                And that is why the government should be stepping in. Make that R&D happen. It would develop our economy so that we were competitive and it would develop our local talent.

                Even our most advanced companies with some success in this field, like Dunedin's Scott Technologies, got bought out.

                All our successful tech companies are as the capitalists strive for an ever greater oligarchy and less competition.

                It's also proof that the government needs to ban offshore sales and/or stamp harder on anti-competitive practices such as buying up the competition.

          • Stuart Munro 1.4.3.1.2

            Like a lot of other automation projects, unless the grower is the IT guy, he's held to ransom by them, so no net gain.

            One of the things they tried at Sealord back in the day was a waterknife – a bit like a laser cutter, but for filleting fish. It wasn’t a bad idea as such, but it needed constant adjustment to get decent yield, and the IT cost of that meant they really had no gain over manual filleters. Could’ve worked if there were ten or so waterknives in the area to justify a pair of full time techs.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.4.3.1.2.1

              Much filleting is done by machine these days, especially in farmed fish. Uses robotic mechnical blades, the best machines consistently give higher fillet yield than the best manual filleters.

              If you go to a fish processing factory in Norway (I’ve been to a few) – high degree of automation with people doing a lot of checking and maintenance, rather than bulk manual work. They all get a high quality free lunch, high wages and moderate hours etc. The cars in the carpark are of high quality and the profits made by the companies are high.

              Go to a comparable factory in NZ (also been to a few) – lots of people doing manual work, old bombs of cars in the carparks, lots of staff needing dental work and earning the absolute bare minimum with no other benefits. Company profits are variable but certainly not consistently higher than in Norway.

              • Stuart Munro

                The efficiency of automated filleting has much to do with a standardized feedstock, so it's a natural fit for aquaculture – up to a point.

                Before NZ is ready for comparable automation it needs a relative abundance of capable engineers – we don't have them.

                The poverty of our workers is more to do with greed and incompetence higher up than the relative efficiency of filleting machinery – manual filleters continue to build skill and rate for years, so a well run bare space factory can compete quite well with an overcapitalised machine heavy space – a lesson Detroit is still losing money from failing to learn in autoassembly.

                NZ churns out fillet block when, were our fisheries even vaguely competent, they'd produce a greater proportion of higher value cuts. But it's a colonial fishery – it basically doesn't support the local market at all, so it struggles to test market anything that isn't as basic as dirt. Our per kilo returns are rubbish, and per kilo of wild biomass they are execrable.

                You can't build a valid quality marque running slave ships – but our companies are dumb enough to try, and our regulators ineffectual enough to let them.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.5

      The other angle to this exploitation is WINZ/MSD need to drop stand downs, sanctions and abatement rates, so NZers can move seamlessly between work and income support.

      Dropping the inquisitions, providing travel and accom assistance, along with living wage, would likely see all the pickers these clowns would ever need become available for seasonal work.

      • greywarshark 1.5.1

        What a great practical and realistic line to this thread. Good ideas. I suggest that people copy it and look at it regularly for an example of how much better NZ could be if we had participatory democracy, with people with knowledge and desire for a prosperous, enterprising country where we put our heads and muscles together for the good of a well-run country that made provision for all at their various levels.

        Ad does say 'But under our model we're always going to need low wage workers to harvest our commodity lines.' So as AB suggests along with the others ideas, we need some better thought out ways. I think that is the trouble – neolib is like rote learning, it's learn and follow – like a cult really.

      • RedBaronCV 1.5.2

        Well when people lose their jobs they are told it is an opportunity for them to do some thing different and BTW don't expect any government support.

        Shouldn't these employers face the same barrage of advice?

        But These employers are wanting student loan reductions, visa's issued, wanting quarantine used (if they say they want to pay for that then pay higher wages) plus a photo of two paid! managers. Anything but looking at themselves

      • Ad 1.5.3

        Labour has just released its welfare policy and it includes a good lowering of abatement rates. As you asked for.

        https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2009/S00104/labour-helps-families-get-ahead.htm

        • Reinstating the Training Incentive Allowance for higher skilled courses which will provide up to $4,515 per year to assist with extra costs
        • Increasing the amount of money people who are working part-time can earn while on a benefit
        • Continuing the welfare overhaul and implementing the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group
        • Revamping and expanding the Flexi-wage programme to support up to 40,000 more New Zealanders into work or to set up a business
        • greywarshark 1.5.3.1

          The headings look good Ad, I hope the content provides a practical level of help – real social investment, not like National's banner waving, for the business approach mainly.

          Our Plan to Get New Zealand Working – National Party

          http://www.national.org.nz › our-plan-to-get-new-zealand-working

          Jul 9, 2020 – And we developed the social investment, or actuarial approach, to help analyse which types of government spending and investment will in fact …

          • Ad 1.5.3.1.1

            Honestly Labour's announcements could and should have been implemented already.

            They are not earth shatteringly bold, shall we say.

            And she hasn't answered the core question of benefit levels.

            The Green Party policy is much stronger here.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.5.3.2

          Vote Green if you want any real welfare reform and improvement. Labour has shown almost no interest in making any material changes in their first term – ignoring almost everything the WEAG recommended.

          Carmel Sepuloni agreed to roughly 1 percent of the welfare report's recommendations by cost.

    • Treetop 1.6

      In 1977 I did apple packing and I could earn $100 a week for 40 hours.

      What is that in today's money?

    • Chris T 1.7

      Since when has 25 bucks an hour been bad money for a labouring job?

      • woodart 1.7.1

        when you are on contract and have to pay your own acc levies and other associated self employment costs$ 25 per hour wont be $25 per hour. its a bullshit headline. and you will only get that rate IF you are very good at the job, and work flat out.

        • froggleblocks 1.7.1.1

          Pretty sure fruit pickers don't have to pay their own ACC levies etc.

          But it is a piece-work rate, so only the fastest pickers working the best conditions can get that rate. Slower workers, or if you're picking trees that have already been picked once, you won't be able to achieve that hourly rate.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    "How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, & Shape Our Futures" – Kim Hill interviews the author this morning at 10.05

    “Entangled Life is a dazzling, vibrant, vision-changing book. Sentence after sentence stopped me short. I ended it wonderstruck at the fungal world and the earth-shaking, hierarchy-breaking implications of Sheldrake's argument.”

    — Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland

    Merlin is a scientist with the imagination of a poet and a beautiful writer… This is a book that, by the virtue of the power of its writing, shifts your sense of the Human… it will inspire a generation to enter mycology."

    Michael Pollan, author of How to Change Your Mind

    The natural world is more fantastic than any fantasy, so long as you have the means to perceive it. This book provides the means."

    Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not A Gadget

    Within 24 hours of finishing “Entangled Life” I had ordered an oyster mushroom-growing kit. I started scrutinizing the lichens that hug the damp concrete in the yard. This book may not be a psychedelic — and unlike Sheldrake, I haven’t dared to consume my copy (yet) — but reading it left me not just moved but altered, eager to disseminate its message of what fungi can do.”

    Jennifer Szalai, THE NEW YORK TIMES

    https://www.merlinsheldrake.com/

    I haven't checked it out yet but the reviews suggest he's illuminating a dimension of our relationship with nature profoundly. His father (Rupert) was a biochemist, and originator of the theory of morphic resonance. A couple of deep thinkers about our Green world, showing how to reconnect…

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      This is my field, Dennis; the reading, the listening-to, the watching (McFarlane, Sheldrake, Stamets, McKenna et al) , as well as the foraging, cultivating (Shaggy Parasols, Velvet Shanks, oysters, Birch boletes etc. etc.) You might enjoy Stephen Harrod Buhner (Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm), Monica Gagliano (Thus spoke the plant) and Natasha "Planthropocene" Myers and the paintings of Pablo Picasso smiley

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        "Stephen Harrod Buhner is the senior researcher for the Foundation for Gaian Studies." I hadn't heard of him, but have been writing about the Gaian view sporadically since attending the Gaia Conference at the University of Auckland in 1989. I had been an avid consumer of Lovelock's books before that.

        Sue Bradford also was there, and in the aftermath a working group was formed which she & I joined to brainstorm the formation of a new political party on the basis of Gaia. I have a folder of notes from the meetings of that group in the following months.

        Eventually that group joined with the residue of the Values Party and a couple of others to form the Green Party, but by then I had been alienated by the tedium induced by discourse with pedestrian leftist mainstreamers pretending to be alternative and had to stop attending those meetings. When they got 7% at the next election I decided to try & be more tolerant…

      • Matiri 2.1.2

        Merlin Sheldrake on Kim Hill RNZ this morning. What a wonderful name!

  3. weka 3

    And the eating!

  4. Anne 4

    Hey Wayne, if you are around I totally agree with your views re- the use of the military from the start of the pandemic scare.

    In 1987 I was sent to Whenuapiai Air Base to fill-in for a colleague who was on long service leave. I was there when Cyclone Bola wreaked havoc in the Hawkes Bay and Taranaki regions. For the first time I saw the military in action and was very impressed. They were up and running at full throttle in less than 24 hrs. The management of the rescue effort followed by the aftermath clean up was superb. So much so, I applied for a permanent position at Whenuapai and ended up spending nearly 4 years on that base.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/government-way-too-slow-in-using-nzdf-assist-covid-19-ex-defence-minister-says

    • Wayne 4.1

      Hi Anne,

      Thanks for that link. It seems Dr Miller has transcribed the entire interview, which was done on Skype (sound only) on Thursday morning. I didn't appreciate that TVNZ picked up these interviews.

      As for a future Cold War, it is very uncertain. But I don't like the portents. It seems to me the China US relationship will get worse before it gets better. The US doesn't know how to accommodate a rising power, and China seems to be going out of its way to be bellicose.

      In NZ we need more imagination on this issue.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        As for a future Cold War, it is very uncertain. But I don't like the portents.

        Can't say I like them either and, to my mind, its got a good chance of being a hot war rather than cold. Especially, as you say, China seems to be going out of its way to be bellicose and hard nosed. They seem to be getting more intransigent on the Indian border and the SCS.

        In NZ we need more imagination on this issue.

        We need to build up our defence forces so that they're actually capable of defending us and we need to check out existing and possible allies that will stand with us (I'm pretty sure that at least a couple of traditional allies won't).

        • Anne 4.1.1.1

          …we need to check out existing and possible allies that will stand with us (I'm pretty sure that at least a couple of traditional allies won't)

          I think we are more likely to have other Asian countries standing with us – or us standing with them. It would seem to me our future is becoming more aligned with Asia both in an economical as well as a geo-political sense than our traditional allies.

          I have grave doubts about the over-all sanity of the Brits these days. 🙄

    • Treetop 4.2

      Ron Mark will be the only NZ First MP I will miss. I think he has done the best job of any defence minister in 20 years. Marks has made sure that the NZDF are pandemic ready compared to security guards. As well Marks has ensured operational equipment is being sourced.

      • lprent 4.2.1

        Tracy Martin has been more competent than most ministers as well.

        But I’d never write NZF off in elections, even if they have burdened themselves with the Shane Jones anchor.

        • Stuart Munro 4.2.1.1

          From first to last the seaman’s thoughts are very much concerned with his anchors. It is not so much that the anchor is a symbol of hope as that it is the heaviest object that he has to handle on board his ship at sea in the usual routine of his duties. The beginning and the end of every passage are marked distinctly by work about the ship’s anchors. Joseph Conrad

          It may be that this anchor denotes the end of the passage.

          • greywarshark 4.2.1.1.1

            edit
            I think Shane Jones fitted the persona that many ordinary blokes wanted, not one clipped onto the political beltway, a lawyer, professional with theories about everything, but his own man, with experience on the ground etc. That perhaps was the feeling that similar USA punters got from Trump. Now that people have seen this type in action, given them a go, perhaps they will be able to let them go and see a different type of representative is needed to advance our nation's aims and 'make us great again'.

            • Stuart Munro 4.2.1.1.1.1

              I'm not sure he ever resonated much with anyone really. A lot of folk wanted him to, but he was more beltway selection than dignity of labour, and his rhetorical skills… might be there in Maori, but aren't being quoted in English. Bit of a fugazi really.

          • Treetop 4.2.1.1.2

            So eloquent re the anchor. The sharks are circling. Marooned out at sea another 4 weeks.

            Watch this space, will NZF be rescued?

        • Treetop 4.2.1.2

          Martin does not quite make the grade for me. In saying this she is the next best performer and then Peters.

          This election is going to be all about the Labour and National Party. Probably like first past the post days. Televised debate is going to indicate the survival of the minor parties.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    I heard Jane Fonda mention this rule to Kim Hill about 20 mins ago:

    “There weren’t any campaigns that had failed after they had achieved 3.5% participation during a peak event,” says Chenoweth – a phenomenon she has called the “3.5% rule”. Besides the People Power movement, that included the Singing Revolution in Estonia in the late 1980s and the Rose Revolution in Georgia in the early 2003.

    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190513-it-only-takes-35-of-people-to-change-the-world

    Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard University, confirms that civil disobedience is not only the moral choice; it is also the most powerful way of shaping world politics – by a long way.

    Consider me a sceptic. Protests rarely work nowadays. If the prof is correct, she has measured a critical threshold that transitions a protest movement into a viable political force. We need corroboration, but it would be gamechanger in politics if the rule does get established. All FPP democratic systems would be threatened by the potential.

    • weka 5.1

      It's one of the keys to XR's strategy. I wrote a post about the theory in 2019

      Another world is possible

      • weka 5.1.1

        thinking now of NZ contexts where it might apply. 10,000 people marching in Dunedin stopped the move of the hospital neurology department to Chch (in the context of a campaign). That's 7% of the population.

        • Ad 5.1.1.1

          We've had a few good wins from the streets over the last three decades.

        • Gabby 5.1.1.2

          Yes, but if you ignore the occasions on which protests do work, then they rarely work.

          • weka 5.1.1.2.1

            lol, can't tell if you are being clever or stupid there.

            • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Clever enough to apply postmodern framing. Perception driven by lack of reality. Is not applying both/and logic stupid? Would be unfair to assent. I bet teachers still can't teach the generic form – merely conforming to convention in teaching the application to maths & computing only.

              If you apply the version most seen in physics (Schrodinger's cat) then you need to actually measure the ratio between protests that did change govt policy and those that didn't. The measurement collapses the wave function.

              Twenty years into the new millennium is time enough for that testing. My guess is that failure would come in around 95-98% of the total.

              • Tiger Mountain

                Your writing Dennis, often reminds of a fictional headstone from one of those Brian Edwards tiny books…

                ”Here lies a defeatist-he predicted it would end this way…”

          • Ad 5.1.1.2.2

            The wins from the street are seldom but they are great fun win or lose, and sometimes you win and it makes it all worth it.

            • McFlock 5.1.1.2.2.1

              I fucking hate marching.

              1: it's walking. Never a fan.

              2: it's always so damned noisy, with the usual suspects on megaphones yelling the same shit. What do I want? Shut the fuck up for a few minutes, please.

              3: The proximity of so many people is disconcerting. I suspect my personal space is measured in light years.

              Still, has to be done every so often.

  6. Incognito 6

    35 days

  7. weka 7

    Test from iPhone, desktop view

  8. This is an excerpt from Hooton's latest effort:

    "If Labour's Claytons tax policy gave the finger to those who want progressive taxation, National's Infrastructure Bank seems designed as a deep betrayal of those who value genuine fiscal responsibility.
    Labour strategists are thrilled by the far left's negative reaction to Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson's promise to leave the tax system basically as it is.
    The Government's big two confirmed there will be no shift away from taxing good things like wages, salaries and profits, to taxing allegedly bad things such as capital gains, inherited wealth, carbon and consumption.
    Through a social democrat or environmental lens, John Key and Bill English's 2010 tax switch, which paid for tax cuts on low incomes by increasing taxes on consumption, was to the left of what Labour unveiled on Wednesday.
    In fact, Labour unveiled almost nothing at all. Its so-called tax "policy" consisted of just a single measure — the restoration of Helen Clark and Michael Cullen's 39 per cent marginal income tax rate, but only on earnings above $180,000 a year.
    Whereas Clark and Cullen risked whacking the top 5 per cent of income earners — those earning the equivalent of $113,366 in today's money — Ardern and Robertson have targeted just the top 2 per cent.
    Even Don Brash was more progressive, proposing in 2005 that the 39 per cent rate kick in at $157,468 in today's money. This is not what Labour activists signed up for."

    I hate to say it, but I agree with Hooton. Party Vote Green is the answer, as usual.

    • weka 8.1

      please link, everytime. Mods are getting grumpy. If you can cut and past then you can link.

    • SPC 8.2

      Hooton lied about the GST increase delivering a tax cut to those on lower incomes – they did cut income taxes, but those on lower incomes would have spent more in GST than they got in reduced income taxes.

      Those who had spare income to save/invest benefited from the change. And they are/were not those on lower incomes.

      An increase in GST is an increase in a regressive tax.

    • Stuart Munro 8.3

      Hooton's object is never up front. In this instance it is to slip this little whopper under the radar.

      Through a social democrat or environmental lens, John Key and Bill English's 2010 tax switch, which paid for tax cuts on low incomes by increasing taxes on consumption, was to the left of what Labour unveiled on Wednesday.

      Key and English's GST increases were of course steeply regressive, but Hooton wants his false 'fact' out there muddying the waters of conversations about tax fairness.

      • Bearded Git 8.3.1

        I saw that SPC and Stuart….couldn't agree more….complete bollocks of course…..that is the problem with Hooton. He can make a great deal of sense until his pro-National bias kicks in then he leaves reality behind.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.4

      Through a social democrat or environmental lens, John Key and Bill English's 2010 tax switch, which paid for tax cuts on low incomes by increasing taxes on consumption, was to the left of what Labour unveiled on Wednesday.

      No, it wasn't as it:

      1. Didn't pay for the tax cuts for low incomes – it put the taxes on low incomes up as GST is regressive
      2. Gave the rich an actual tax cut
      3. Increased the deficit as the amount of government income from taxes went down

      Hooton actually knows all that and so he must be lying.

      Party Vote Green is the answer, as usual.

      True.

  9. Also from Hooton:

    "Goldsmith's first strategy to get the numbers right has been to target failed programmes like fees-free tertiary education and KiwiBuild, and the universal Baby Bonus — but even these are small change in the context of his ambitious target.
    His second strategy is not so robust — stopping contributions to the Super Fund."

    Now that is truly nasty. Goldsmith is well to the right in the National caucus; it will be scary times if he becomes finance minister.

  10. joe90 10

    Meanwhile, in the Idiocracy..

  11. joe90 11

    Surprise surprise, big oil lies.

    Laura Leebrick, a manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling in southern Oregon, is standing on the end of its landfill watching an avalanche of plastic trash pour out of a semitrailer: containers, bags, packaging, strawberry containers, yogurt cups.

    None of this plastic will be turned into new plastic things. All of it is buried.

    "To me that felt like it was a betrayal of the public trust," she said. "I had been lying to people … unwittingly."

    […]

    But it's not valuable, and it never has been. And what's more, the makers of plastic — the nation's largest oil and gas companies — have known this all along, even as they spent millions of dollars telling the American public the opposite.

    NPR and PBS Frontline spent months digging into internal industry documents and interviewing top former officials. We found that the industry sold the public on an idea it knew wouldn't work — that the majority of plastic could be, and would be, recycled — all while making billions of dollars selling the world new plastic.

    The industry's awareness that recycling wouldn't keep plastic out of landfills and the environment dates to the program's earliest days, we found. "There is serious doubt that [recycling plastic] can ever be made viable on an economic basis," one industry insider wrote in a 1974 speech.

    Yet the industry spent millions telling people to recycle, because, as one former top industry insider told NPR, selling recycling sold plastic, even if it wasn't true.

    https://www.npr.org/2020/09/11/897692090/how-big-oil-misled-the-public-into-believing-plastic-would-be-recycled

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      "There is serious doubt that [recycling plastic] can ever be made viable on an economic basis,"

      Recycling is always viable on an economic basis. Its just not always viable on a financial one especially when the finances have been screwed with.

      • Stuart Munro 11.1.1

        If it isn't recycled it should be burned – at a decent temperature it's no worse than its precursor petroleum. Burying it is just begging it to make its way into the food chain.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          Yes, burning it at such a temperature is actually expensive.

          And thus we have proof of the unregulated market failing again as the costs were not properly applied which results in poor management of resources.

          National, and Labour, go on about how red tape costs but getting rid of those costs is what brings about market failure.

          • Stuart Munro 11.1.1.1.1

            It can be done to advantage – Seoul generates electricity from household waste – better than landfilling it. You need a disposal system even if you recycle – some plastics are invariably mixed or contaminated.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 11.2

      Indeed…kinda unsurprising the similarity to Big Tobacco's lies and denialism, when they KNEW for years…

      https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Tobacco_smoking#Dirty_tricks_played_by_cigarette_manufacturers

      Anyway, back to plastic and Big Oil. Polystyrene is one of my particular hates. Here is a toxic byproduct of Big Oil ,

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polystyrene#Non-biodegradable

      which is used as packaging around tv's, fridges, etc etc. Impact/compression resistant cardboard would provide exactly the same, without the consequential pollution/disposal effects.

      The scale of plastic pollution…and its adverse effect on our Earth? Frightening

      https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/plastic-planet-waste-pollution-trash-crisis/

      (on another..liked your Suicidal Tendencies vid…not seen that one. Know some of their Tracks. Back in the Day…: )

  12. Kay 12

    Further to @Ad (1.5.3) note the emphasis on work, even when referencing those with disabilities. Yet again, lets ignore the highly inconvenient fact there are are group of people with disabilities who will never be able to participate in the paid workforce no matter how much they want to. That's just reality.

    But by acknowledging that, their plight will have to be admitted to so lets just not even mention they exist ergo the problem doesn't exist and we don't have to admit how badly the seriously ill and disabled in NZ are treated by all governments, because, not politically palatable.

    • Tiger Mountain 12.1

      ”Work will set you free” as iron gateway signs announced at certain Nazi WWII Concentration Camps.

      Neo liberals similarly misuse “work” in a way that obscures what is really going on in our society.

      Maybe, the Covid unemployed newbies will react to the built in sadism of WINZ/MSD with calls for the obvious-increase benefit levels, individualise benefits, drop sanctions, abatement levels, and stand downs.

      Really IRD should handle a streamlined income support including a Basic Income. Disband WINZ, and set up a new Social Security Agency for special needs groups-disabled, sick, ACC etc. Base it on no inquisitions, just pay and support citizens with what they reasonably need to have some sort of life.

  13. Treetop 13

    Next Saturday would have been the election. I need to look at how all of the political parties are polling today. I would like to see a poll for next Saturday for the election which has been redated.

    Possibly there are people out there who think there is an election next week. Those who have the election bottle of wine in the fridge will need to wait a bit longer. I reckon I will need a wine or two by election day.

    • Kay 13.1

      This time 3 years ago I had my exit plan worked out in the event of a 4th-term National Government, as did others I knew, personally and anecdotally, things had become that unbearable. Annoying as NZF have been, it's safe to say Winston's decision literally saved a lot of lives. Citizens should not have to live in genuine fear of the outcome of General Elections.

      • Treetop 13.1.1

        Peters being in a coalition with Labour deserves praise and yes it was a lucky escape from a forth term National government.

        I would like to see what a Labour Green coalition would be like.

  14. Dennis Frank 14

    Bernard Hickey reports history being made:

    This week the Government was able to borrow at a negative interest rate for the first time. Ever.

    That means the funder of the govt gets to pay a transaction fee for the privilege of lending us their money. Rather nice of the capitalists, eh? "Guys, we got so much spare money we're dead keen to pay you to use it for a few years."

    That means there are fund managers out there this week with so few places to put their money and so afraid of the future that they are willing to pay more than $1m for a piece of paper that guarantees they will get $1m back in 20 years time.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/economic-recovery/hey-govt-borrowing-costs-just-went-negative

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      And just think of how effed they'd be if the government wasn't willing to do so because they simply don't need to do so. A government can create all the money that it needs.

      • Pat 14.1.1

        The government can create all of its own money that it needs…and none of anyone elses.

        How much wine and cheese do you need?

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1

          That fails to make any sense.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Still makes no sense.

              The NZ government can create money and they can buy stuff with it. Yes, they can even buy stuff from offshore with it. They can do that because that money allows those people offshore to buy product from NZ.

              That's basic market operation.

              • Pat

                They could if

                a) we had something they wanted

                b)they were unable to get it somewhere else or make it themselves

                c) the price was right

                and then there is the ratio of available of NZD in relation to goods….you can make as many NZD as you like but you cannot create the unlimited goods you hope they represent nor the unlimited desire to hold them.

                ALL of our major exports are freely available from a multitude of suppliers

                Im sure Boeing and Airbus or Phizer will be falling over themselves to trade their products for NZD (or the wine and cheese they can buy with them)

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yes, that's how the market works.

                  But think about it in context of the rich person who has so much money and nowhere to spend it. They've got millions and millions of dollars, nowhere to spend it and if they put it in the bank the banks will charge fees on it because they don't have anywhere to put it either.

                  That's why they're so keen to buy NZ bonds with such a low negative interest rate – because it would cost them more to put it in the bank.

                  As I say, the government creating money can really fuckup the capitalists as they'd lose their bludging and they'd lose the ability to say, 'see, you need us', because we simply don't.

                  • Pat

                    Im sure you recognise the irony of using a broken disconnected market to describe how 'markets work'

                    The bond purchases are no indication of offshore desire for NZD unless the purchasers are from offshore.

                    https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/e1

                    And the deflation the negative rate is indicating does not bode well for demand for trade in the real economy…indeed it indicates the lack of confidence in the real economy to maintain its functionality.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The bond purchases are no indication of offshore desire for NZD unless the purchasers are from offshore.

                      No, they're a sign the the wealthy are looking for anyway to protect their money from decreasing as it would upon the open market or even if they just kept it under the mattress.

                      I'm saying that the government shouldn't be giving them that security.

                      And it doesn't matter if there's any demand from offshore or not. Chances are that people offshore would still accept it as payment knowing that they could buy product from NZ at any time if the government used it to buy from offshore. The government can spend locally as well and that would, in many cases, be better for the economy and NZers.

                      indeed it indicates the lack of confidence in the real economy to maintain its functionality.

                      And government spending can maintain and increase that functionality which, really, is my whole point and they don't need to sell bonds to rich people so as to protect those rich people's wealth to do it.

                  • Pat

                    which takes us back to the beginning….the Gov can do as it wishes with the NZD but that is of little use when most of what we need to maintain our economy (and by extension society) is traded in currencies other than the NZD.

  15. Byd0nz 15

    Advance Party anti-covid demo: Advance them into the clink and ban that Party as a terrorist organisation

    • logie97 15.1

      Stuff reports a gathering of Jamie-Lee-Ross supporters in Auckland to march against the lockdown.

      At least one busload of them went up from Bethlehem/Tauranga. I haven't noticed too many being restricted or disadvantaged in The Bay area at Level 2. What did Muldoon call them? Rent a crowd"?

      • observer 15.1.1

        Should at least end the misguided view among some (on here) that JLR is the good guy in Botany, simply by not being National. He's signed up to the Q-anon madness, and embraces the far right. Luxon is bad, but not worse.

        Fortunately Ross only has another month in the job, and his nasty party will find out their true level of support. Good riddance.

        • logie97 15.1.1.1

          Unfortunately there may have been carriers in today's march. And given that there was a scarcity of masks, we could see a "Melbourne" very easily.

      • Anne 15.1.2

        Yes. Muldoon called them a Rent a Crowd but he was lying. They ranged from young students to the elderly and they were genuine. There were plenty of good reasons to protest during the Muldoon era and time proved the protesters were right.

        Can't say the same about today's motley crowd in Queen St. If they have bused people to Auckland from other part of the North Island then they're suspect and could be described as a Rent a Crowd.

        • Graeme 15.1.2.1

          I'd love to know who's paying for it all, bussing people from all over the place wouldn't be cheap, and I can't see his fb followers doing it unless it's free

    • aom 15.2

      Loved the bit about Billy The Kreep getting the quarantine breaker out of prison after seven days. Dumb shit is so thick he didn't know she was eligible for release after serving half of her sentence. Gives some indication of the intellect of his gang of 'protesters'.

  16. joe90 16

    Seems helping citizens with generous support payments to avoid prematurely opening up the economy is a winner.

    TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada reported zero COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours for the first time since March 15, according to public health agency data released late on Friday.

    With most provinces easing lockdown restrictions and as schools reopen for in-person classes, Canada’s infections have seen a mild pick-up in recent days. Authorities have been on high alert to avoid fresh outbreaks, and provinces including British Columbia have imposed new curbs to tackle the spread of the virus.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-canada/canada-reports-zero-covid-19-deaths-for-first-time-since-march-idUSKBN26301J

  17. greywarshark 17

    I feel that our international knowledge is low and shows a lack of understanding of the workings in politics elsewhere. The National Library has acted pragmatically and is making room for more NZ books by passing rarely used books to other libraries. That is an indication of a lack in us, and insularity.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/425885/national-library-in-middle-of-first-major-cull-of-international-books

  18. greywarshark 18

    Insular and unempathetic, materialistic, possessed by desire for consumerism, superior possessions and lifestyle, sentimentally moved by populist tragedies, valueless about others' plight? NZ'RUs? Brave New World?

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/425647/prolonged-confinement-of-prisoners-could-prompt-legal-action-against-corrections

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/425401/punitive-culture-at-new-zealand-s-largest-women-s-prison-internal-corrections-review-says

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    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago