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Open mike 12/12/2009

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 12th, 2009 - 20 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

mike

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

20 comments on “Open mike 12/12/2009 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    In the war to save the planet, Chris Trotter compares Climate Change Deniers to traitors during war time.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/opinion/3151322/In-the-war-for-nature-the-deniers-are-traitors

    The Second World War is commonly cited as being responsible for 60 million deaths.

    Climate Change is projected to exceed that kill rate, many times over.

    Will history judge Climate Change Deniers as culpable as Holocaust Deniers?

    Meanwhile on the same day, over at the Granny Herald, on their editorial page, an article on climate change, Friday Dec. 11, is paired with a matching article on Climate Change Denial. (Guess which article was given the top billing?)

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/environment/news/article.cfm?c_id=39&objectid=10614658

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10614657&pnum=0

    The placing of these two almost exactly sized articles together, was probably justified by the Herald as “balanced reporting’.

    I makes me wonder if ‘Granny H.’ published an account of the Holocaust, would they feel similarly compelled to, “in the interests of balanced reporting’, publish an equally sized article arguing for Holocaust Denial?

    The bizarre editorial line of this creaking, anachronistic, right wing rag, it sometimes makes me wonder.

    Roll on the internet revolution!!

  2. outofbed 2

    New Zealand accused of cheating on forestry
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/3154487/New-Zealand-accused-of-cheating-on-forestry
    “They’re trying to build loopholes into the accounting systems and into the Kyoto Protocol such that their actual emission reduction is not what they say it is,” he said.

    No surprise there then

    • Bill 2.1

      That wouldn’t be this here little shimmy by any chance?

      http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-leaders-of-the-rich-world-are-enacting-a-giant-fraud-1837963.html

      I know it is and I know this link was put up yesterday, but it seems the truth just cannot be repeated too often these days.

      “Trick three: the fake forests or what the process opaquely dubs “LULUCF”. Forests soak up warming gases and store them away from the atmosphere so, perfectly sensibly, countries get credit under the new system for preserving them. It is an essential measure to stop global warming. But the Canadian, Swedish and Finnish logging companies have successfully pressured their governments into inserting an absurd clause into the rules. The new rules say you can, in the name of “sustainable forest management”, cut down almost all the trees without losing credits. It’s Kafkaesque: a felled forest doesn’t increase your official emissions… even though it increases your actual emissions.

      There are dozens more examples like this, but you and I would lapse into a coma if I listed them.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Seems Peter Dunne is getting his way with the income splitting tax change:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3154426/Income-splitting-plan-gives-families-a-tax-break

    Seems odd that this has suddenly been reported, when apparently nothing like this was proposed by the tax working group, yet the government appears to be going with it next year anyway? As there’s only a certain amount of money to go around, and areas that can be tweaked in terms of tax relief, this is apparently going to cost $450m. So what tax is going to be raised to cover it, or what other tax relief is being shelved to allow it?

    Perhaps this is going to be the sweetener for the otherwise-gloomy 2010 budget?

    Also on the face of it, it seems like a nice equality type of tax relief, but the people who benefit most are going to be those on the highest incomes, as usual. I’d like to see Marty’s analysis of this one.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Also, here’s an example of why this is very much favourable to high income earners:

      Suppose you have both parents earning $40k year, doing full time work. This means there is no one at home to look after the kids when they come home from school at 3pm, and mornings could be a bit of a rush to get the kids off to school and the parents to work at the same time, and all the other things that come as a result of having 2 full time parents. A family like this would receive no benefit from the tax change.

      On the other hand, a family with a stay-at-home mum and a father earning $80k a year will have the tax split to become $40k each and hence a tax savings. This family would now pay the same tax as the first family, but they would also have the stay-at-home mum to look after the kids.

      Now this second family arguably had a much easier time than the first family in terms of raising the children, but the tax policy as it is implemented will give help to the second family and no help at all to the first family. Seems a bit backwards.

      • prism 3.1.1

        Tax/income splitting also has an affect on women’s chances for paid work. It can be disadvantageous for the main income earner who is earning well to have some tax advantage taken away if the other partner, usually wife, wants to work.

        It can make women especially married to high-income husbands, more dependent and unable to transition into the work environment when their children are older. There is a respect given and felt when being an income-earner in one’s own right.

  4. Bill 4

    Cost to get from London to Copenhagen by train? £480 (approx $1000)

    Cost to get from London to Copenhagen by plane? £18 (approx $40)

    ……………………

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/dec/11/copenhagen-cheap-flights

  5. Olwyn 5

    I am far from being Peter Dunne’s greatest fan but: Lanthanide, wouldn’t tax splitting give the couple on $40,000 each greater flexibility, so that one of them (and not necessarily the woman) would be more free to work part time and then pay tax on $30,000 each? And prism, don’t high incomes mean more choice anyway? Hence you might choose to continue a loved career for little material gain – your household income already being high this move will not drive you to penury, it will merely be comparatively less remunerative than it otherwise would have been. You people seem to be taking an odd view of feminism – that it is somehow not fair if a parent who prefers to stay home and care for young children is not punished economically for doing so.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      Yes, that is an argument. However in the example you have given, the tax difference between the two cases ($40k + $20k and $30k + $30k) amounts to only a measly $120/year saving: the couple would pay $10,960 tax for the first case and $10,840 in the latter. So you forgo $20k in gross income in return for a $120 tax savings?

      So again, the biggest beneficiaries of this tax change will be those on the highest incomes. Of course this makes sense mathematically, because what this tax change is doing is taking a portion of income that would have been taxed at a high rate and taxing it at a lower rate instead.

    • wtl 5.2

      $40000 and $3000 are in the same tax brackets

    • prism 5.3

      Olwyn – the point stands that income splitting for tax purposes can mean pressure to stay home for ever for the lower earning partner.
      The trouble is that since the 1970’s the role and practices of parenthood have been downgraded in people’s and the government’s minds. This has been replaced by a desire to get mothers of young children out to paid work, to raise GDP and fuel the consumer bubble we have just had.
      All this time we are crying out about the children poorly brought up, or stressed out by too many goals, or spoiled by indulgent wealthy parents with goods but no guidance. If parenting was properly supported and educated offered, with results of good socialised, children happy in themselves achieving their potential it would be great. But just bringing in split taxation won’t do that.

      • Olwyn 5.3.1

        Yes, the figures alone suggested that few would be helped. As to the rest of what you say, I couldn’t agree more.

  6. outofbed 6

    Cost to get from London to Copenhagen by train? £480 (approx $1000)

    Cost to get from London to Copenhagen by plane? £18 (approx $40)

    Cost of a binding Agreement at Copenhagen? Priceless

  7. Bill 7

    “The Climate justice newspaper is produced every two days during the Copenhagen climate talks, reporting and decoding what is going on both inside and outside the climate negotiations. Find out what is really going on behind the media headlines.”

    http://www.tni.org/briefing/newspaper-climate-chronicle

  8. prism 8

    Anne Else: A fair adjectival cow
    This article on Scoop has some really good background about the cow stall matter.

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