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Open mike 13/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 13th, 2011 - 75 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

75 comments on “Open mike 13/03/2011”

  1. Wyndham 1

    This editorial from today’s Herald reads like something from Red Alert or The Standard ! Whoever wrote it will be “on the mat” tomorrow.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10711996

    • ianmac 1.1

      You are so right Wyndam! Fire that writer! Can’t have the Herald reflecting the lives of real people! Of course John Key when asked posing beside a gourmet shop, will explain that His Government is just giving the people the chance to demonstrate their resourcefulness just as he did as a poor kid with a solo mother.
      “Look at me. Look at me. I am filthy rich. And you can be too if you are just a bit more focussed and a bit more ruthless kind, generous, honest and cheerful like me.”

    • Jim Nald 1.2

      I had to double check the date to be sure it isn’t 1st April!
      Might start to read that paper again.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      Na, it’s a go out and spend plea from the RWNJs at the Granny who are still in total denial of the limits of the world.

      • Marty G 1.3.1

        it’s good in that it manages to recognise the problems that we’re all experiencing. It’s not so good in that it says ‘don’t stop spending on other things to cover rising fuel/food costs’, which means ‘take on more debt’. But the end, about supporting a more collective view of how we solve these problems, is really good

    • Colonial Viper 1.4

      Including reconsidering the tax cuts???

      What is this writer on.

    • Pete 1.5

      When prices go up more than normal on anything, as they can do from time to time, it prompts people to either moan, or to reassess their budget priorities. That can happen at a personal level, company level, and at a country level. It’s not always a bad thing to be nudged out of financial complacency.

      We (many individuals and as a country) had developed bad habits of buying more than we need. It might boost business short term, but over a longer term it increases debt that can for many be easily avoided.

      Rather than whip up the population into another overspending frenzy the Herald may do far more good encouraging people and the country to learn to live withing their means. It may be tough on some businesses short term but it is a far better longer term approach.

      • Colonial Viper 1.5.1

        People on NZ’a stingy minimum wage can’t buy more than they need.

        Rather than whip up the population into another overspending frenzy the Herald may do far more good encouraging people and the country to learn to live withing their means. It may be tough on some businesses short term but it is a far better longer term approach.

        Agreed, however it is this fall in aggregate demand which is worrying the business community and the Government. Money put into savings and to repaying debt means it is not being spent. Good for one or two people who are doing it. If everyone does it at the same time – the macroeconomic picture is predictable – massive recession.

        Governments in election years hate that.

      • Rob 1.5.2

        Quite agree Pete. Unfortunately DonKey and Blinglish have seen fit to increase Govt debt from 10% of GDP to 16% of GDP in less than 3 years of office. Bit hard to educate the public to live within their means when the politicians can’t do it.

        • Colonial Viper 1.5.2.1

          More Right Wing financial imbeciles.

          When private sector spending falls significantly the loss of demand must be countered by public sector spending or a massive recession will result.

          Further, as the private sector lays off staff, the need for Government services and benefits *increases* not decreases.

          It is the duty of Government to meet those needs, giving time for the private sector to sort its shit out and start employing people again.

          Of course, this Government is stupid enough to lay its own people off adding to the unemployment slag heap and forcing even more of our professionals to head over to Australia.

          • Pete 1.5.2.1.1

            Overspending imbeciles. Too much spending by government is part of the problem – especially when government spending has already expanded substantially throughout better times.

            Rob, I agree the governments often set a bad example, but it seems to be a general attitude – spending what they want instead of spending what’s affordable and sensible.

            Do governments get this attitude off the people, or do the people get the attitude off the governments? Prospective governments know that offering to be generous enhances their chances of being the one that dishes it out. But voters know that rewarding generous (often over generous) politicians can pay.

            • Colonial Viper 1.5.2.1.1.1

              When the private sector fails to employ or spend, the Government must take up the gap.

              As private sector GDP falls, Govt spending as a % of GDP will rise. And it needs to rise even faster than that because as the economy contracts, citizens and communities will need *more* Government support, not less.

              If both private and public sectors stop spending at the same time the result is easy to predict: massive recessionary pressure forcing down employment levels, business activity, and wages.

              Of course, since its a very profitable situation for those at the top acquiring assets and employees on the cheap, that’s what you RWNJ’s want.

              • Pete

                What I want is no more continual growth of government – always “taking the gap” when the economy is good, then “taking the gap” some more when it turns to custard, that’s nuts, left and right. Look at the US for a horrible large scale example.

                • KJT

                  Look to the USA to see what happens when Government fails to do their job of regulating and limiting the cheats in the private sector, fails to deliver health and decent living to their citizens and fails to make the wealthy pay their fair share of the costs of having a community around them.

                  It was State sector growth from the new deal and the 2nd world war (Paid for by up to 91% tax on wealth) that got the States out of the depression.

                • Colonial Viper

                  What I want is no more continual growth of government

                  WTF does any of this mean. As modern complexity and technology increases, Government must keep up and stay ahead.

                  We need a strong capable Government to deliver services to the people and enforce rules and regulations allowing competitive markets, fair practices and civil behaviour in society.

                  The only reason you advocate for weak incapable Government is to empower private sector profiteering.

                  • Pete

                    I don’t know where you got that idea, maybe it’s just a false assumption.I’ve never advocated for weak incapable Government. I advocate for stronger more positive Government – but that doesn’t have to mean size, bloat doesn’t guarantee anything apart from inefficiency and too much expense.

                    Regulation is essential, fairness needs some enforcement but not at the cost of too much freedom. It’s a matter of trying to find the best balance – not unfettered growth.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “Bloat”? What the fuck is “bloat”, in this context? Apart from the condition of an upset stomach after a bad curry?

                      And what do you mean exactly by “freedom”? Such a nice sounding word, tell me what you understand by it.

                      Weaker Government is typically advocated by those who want to see the public sector diminished, and the profiteering private sector become more powerful and influential.

                      Now I support a highly efficient, highly effective and well resourced public service. Performance has to be kept high and resource allocated to exactly where it is needed. You are right, wasteful activities need to be eliminated – but those savings must be put back into public sector areas which need it, not removed from the system and then given to the rich as tax cuts etc.

                      There are so many social and community needs in our society at the moment that people need far more support from Government, not less.

                    • Pete

                      I agree quite a bit with this – but I think we need to reduce the number of people who need government help – and they could be helped more.

                      The more the government just hands out money the more hands are held out. As many people as possible should help themselves, not rely on being helped.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Nah this is now just superficial soundbite nonsense from you.

                      And what is wrong with Government helping people? Providing training incentives, providing work experience, providing support and career counselling, providing social welfare support?

                      You talk of helping people as a bad thing.

                      I’m just waiting for the Right Wing sink or swim, every man for themselves as individuals nonsense to surface.

                • millsy

                  So you would close schools and hospitals then?

                  • Pete

                    No, and I wouldn’t disband the police force either.

                    Do you think every public service and expense should continue unquestioned? Do you think taxpayers get optimum value for money now?

                    • millsy

                      Yes, it should. Our schools and hospitals are taongas, and need to be protected from fuckheads like you who want everything to make a profit, even if it means kids being kicked out of school and people dying.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Time to bring in asset taxes and a couple of more steps in our progressive income tax system. I suggest tiers at 5x and at 20x the median income.

                    • Pete

                      Your accusations are based on nothing, you don’t seem to understand that if someone questions some stupidity it doesn’t automatically mean they believe in an opposite extreme of stupidity.

                      I’ve never said I want everything to make a profit, I don’t believe that. I haven’t seen anyone suggest kicking kids out of school due to cost.

                      People will always be dying because there is insufficient money to pay for immediate comprehensive health care for everyone. We could actually afford better health care (and better education) if money wasn’t wasted on inefficient and unnecessary costs.

                      We could afford better levels of benefits for those that really need them if we could reduce the number that got them.

                      Forking out more and more money unquestioningly is a forking stupid approach.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      We could afford better levels of benefits for those that really need them if we could reduce the number that got them.

                      Forking out more and more money unquestioningly is a forking stupid approach.

                      Tax the wealthy and spend the resulting revenue on facilities and services that everyone can use and enjoy.

                      We could actually afford better health care (and better education) if money wasn’t wasted on inefficient and unnecessary costs.

                      More Right Wing superficial platitudes.

                      What inefficient costs? What unnecessary costs?

                      You just wanna repeat the stomach bloating meme in other forms do ya?

                    • Pete

                      What inefficient costs? What unnecessary costs?

                      I’ll give you an example I heard about this afternoon – a mother I know is choosing to take her three year old from kindergarten and put him in childcare, twenty hours a week funded by taxpayers. She doesn’t need to, she will stay at home with her younger child so it doesn’t enable her to get education or work, it’s simply a choice of convenience. Paid for by us. Mind boggling. I’m sure there are far better ways to spend that money.

                    • Marty G []

                      A) the value of ece isn’t simply in getting rid of the kid during the day so the parent can work, it’s socialisation and education

                      b) one anecdote doesn’t wreck a good policy.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Great so you want to change a billion dollar system on the basis of your anecdotal stories.

                      Saying that, yes I do believe that people are ripping money off the system who should not be.

                      However by in large I think the real $ value of where that is happening is amongst the wealthy, by the wealthy.

                    • Pete

                      It’s effectively an early childhood education voucher system? Hmmm.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Nope I don’t think taxpayers get maximum value for money now.

                      I think too much work has been contracted out to private enterprise who rake profit out of the same cost public servants used to do the work for e.g. home help where the government increases the funding but the additional funding is not fully passed on to the workers but is paid in management salaries and profit and flash cars.

                      Where the money spent on higher wages in that local community would help keep those local economies going rather than some overseas shareholder.

                      Interestingly when I worked in the banking industry in the 80’s there was a proposal put in for taking over the payment of NZS – this bid was based on 6% of the total paid out which was pretty standard at the time. The problem was DSW as it was then operated on about 3%.

                      And that bid was based on NZS only – not the supplementary payments as well which were included in the DSW figures.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      DoS: what, you mean DSW could do it more cheaply and efficiently, by not taking into account the need to create shareholder profits?!

                      Having said that, in any large organisation public/private/non-profit there is room for improvement.

                      Just that in Pete’s case he means cutting and gutting = improvement.

          • Rob 1.5.2.1.2

            Imbecile = anyone who believes the private sector is capable of sorting its shit out

            • Pete 1.5.2.1.2.1

              Imbecile = anyone who believes the government should sort everyone’s shit out.

              • Colonial Viper

                yeah you’re a proponent of weak Government and strong corporations, that’s pretty clear.

                • Pete

                  What’s clear is that you are lying again. Accusations with no substance.

                  I’m a proponent of strong self supporting individuals. And I don’t support strong corporations, I’d rather see more emphasis on small businesses, who aren’t too hobbled by tax and administrative overheads so they can employ more.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey buddy where do these strong self supporting individuals come from? Do they appear out of thin air? Or maybe the school of hard knocks? Perhaps these people should just toughen up eh?

                    Or maybe these strong self supporting individuals actually develop from supportive, nourishing, caring, respectful environments?

                    I’d rather see more emphasis on small businesses, who aren’t too hobbled by tax and administrative overheads so they can employ more.

                    More superficial Right Wing bullshit, NZ is already recognised as one of the top places in the world for business freedom/ease of doing business, right next to places like Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

                    You’re full of it.

                    Guess what, if the private sector won’t sort out our unemployment problem by hiring, the public sector should.

                    • neoleftie

                      or some combination of the three pillars; state, private and ‘Non-profit’ organisations

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’m a proponent of strong self supporting individuals.

                    Ah, I see you’ve bought the fantasy lock, stock and barrel.

                    No individual can live well without a community. All you’re really championing is total desolation and poverty.

                    • Pete

                      Of course people need communities (and families). But communities are only as good as the people in them.

                      If everyone thinks they should be able to cruise and “deserve” to be supported by “the government” (actually other people in communities) we will end up with very weak community.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Each person deserves to be supported and encouraged by the provision of Government services: physical and mental health, education, advisory, etc.

                      Having access to these levers makes people stronger not weaker.

                      Anyhows, why would many people choose to “cruise” on Government benefit payments when there are plenty of decent, interesting, well paying jobs available?

                      Of course, that’s the main issue, isn’t it. NZ does not have many good $20/hr – $30/hr jobs available. That’s why 700,000 NZ born Kiwis have moved to Australia.

                      By talking about Government support and benefits you’re distracting from the real problems facing NZ.

                    • Pete

                      Just about everyone else here has been doing that same distracting, including you until now. We must only discuss the most important issues.

                      I’m well aware of the shortage of jobs in NZ. All three of my kids have taken their trades and qualifications offshore for various reasons (two left under Labour, one just after). It’s a major problem, with no quick easy solutions in a globalising market.

                      We need more better, productive jobs. Most of those will have to come from the private sector, if we are to get them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      We need more better, productive jobs. Most of those will have to come from the private sector, if we are to get them.

                      Nope, that’s not the future.

                      The private sector has figured out that it can make more money by employing fewer people, and anyone they do employ, they pay less. Further, very few have grasped the consequences of peak energy. The world is about 5-10 years away from ongoing economic reduction, voluntary or forced.

                      Your children were correct in leaving and you’re not suggesting any useful course of action to change the environment that you describe.

                      It’s a major problem, with no quick easy solutions in a globalising market.

                      Gee guess what, the global economy won’t be so global once oil pentrates US$200/b or so.

                      We must only discuss the most important issues.

                      Oh frak off you hypocrite.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Of course people need communities (and families).

                      So why are you so determined to get rid of the administration (government) that keeps the community going?

                  • neoleftie

                    “I’m a proponent of strong self supporting individuals” in one context this is the ideal where you have strong, well connected socially / community individuals who can provide for himself and those around him but another context you might suggest that the strong individual is basically self serving who is disconnected from the greater society stratum and only support himself to the deteriment of those weaker or less empowered than himself.
                    The strong shall proper at the expence of those who are weaker…doesn’t say much for a society ah.

  2. Sookie 2

    The ACT Party conference is good for a laugh. The write ups on the Herald have been quite snarky and worth reading. What a delusional bunch of nasty, petty, bigoted people. Even if we end up with the Nat rats governing alone in November, there will be some satisfaction derived from seing those ACT tosspots ousted from parliament forever. Come on Epsom, don’t be stupid.

    • Well Sookie did you read the comment made by one of ACT (Fascist) party member when Brash said they used to shoot “natives ‘ in Australia ?
      It shou;ld be shouted from the rooftops. Perhaps the Maori Party will realise just what the Nat’s friends believe. It will also be interesting to see if the Nat’s make any comment. More to the point will the people of Epsom make any comment?
      PS. as one who’s father fought in the Spanish Civil War I do not label people Fascist lightly.

      • Sookie 2.1.1

        I used to like staying in Newmarket whenever I went to Auckland. Then I figured out it was Hide territory and have decided to stay elsewhere in future. I really wonder at the kind of person who would actively vote for the Dancing Fascist Twat. His latest winning policy on TV3 news tonight was open cast mining of conservation land, starting with Pike River. Guyon Espiner didn’t think much of that idea, my partner and I swore and threw things at the telly.

  3. Marjorie Dawe 3

    What is the bet that the Nats will let John Boscowan win the Tamaki electorate because they dont want to be seen to be overtly supporting Rodney in Epsom. Isnt Alan Peachey ready to retire so maybe he won’t care if they deliberately shaft him.

  4. Well you well informed people of the Standard when was the TV channel 6 sold? My understanding is that it was sold to Sky a few days ago .Is this true and why has it not been headline news. I await your answers.

  5. Meanwhile, in the other Sunday paper, things remain exactly the same, but worse:

    When these rodents are eventually apprehended and exposed to the light, we are always amazed by how nondescript and petty they seem. As was the case with Arie Smith – Cornelis Arie Smith-Voorkamp to give him his full title – the 25-year-old arrested for looting a damaged house days after the Canterbury tragedy.

    In fact, the published photos accentuated such feral features – an unusual angularity offset by a blackened eye and the demeanour of one who spends much of his life in the darkness…

    Smith has Asperger’s. Big deal. It was not severe enough for him to require care, nor for him not to be unaware that stealing was wrong. So he had a compulsion. Many people do. But they don’t take advantage of others’ misery or exploit a natural disaster to satisfy that compulsion.

    In the end, justice has been done, blackened eye and all. Now let’s similarly identify the other Christchurch looters and mete out similar justice.

    Righto Lhaws, we’ll expect to see you down there manning up, will we? Why, the perfect slogan, used by your redneck bretheren in the US, only needs minor adaption: This mascara don’t run.

    • millsy 5.1

      A little piece of New Zealand died today.

      When a mainstream columnist expresses the opinion that it is perfectly OK for police to beat up a young man with an intellectual disability, and then goes on to more or less condone lynching, we really need to call a time out here.

      • neoleftie 5.1.1

        The MSM are as bad as our wonkey PM – all seeking the entertaining factor only, both do the litmus test of populist of the lowest denominator. What saddens me is that a good percentage of people actaully ‘cant think’ and cant challenge the populist statement or actions.
        We have rules, laws and societal structures to prevent just these situations occuring, namely the histeria or populist outcry for unusually actions at times of greatest community stress.

      • Mac1 5.1.2

        And let’s not forget when a Minister of Police advocates homosexual rape and/or bashings from a cell mate for a criminal.

        And Jum at 5.2, the same thought struck me as I read Laws’ sick rant. He really needs to be withdrawn from circulation.

    • Jum 5.2

      Rex Widerstrom,

      I wonder if Laws realised he was actually describing himself, both physically and “take advantage of others’ misery or exploit a natural disaster to satisfy that compulsion.”

  6. Descendant Of Smith 6

    The thing with spending is that it was always going to reduce once the baby boomers started retiring – I’ve pointed this out for about 10 years now and regardless of any other factors this was inevitable and predictable.

    With such a large chunk of the population having been sitting around with no mortgage, no kids and two incomes ( and busy competing against each other for rental properties) you had to be a pretty crap businessman to not make a profit.

    And therin lies the other part of the problem we have a whole lot of jumped up businessman who did profit off the baby boomers and somehow think they were fantastic at business. Generally they weren’t.

    Their HR practices were poor, their investment in training staff was poor, their putting aside for when times are tough was poor, their casualisation of the workforce meant that staff have no loyalty and incomes and wages were driven down, they competed on low cost rather than added value, they know the price of everything and the cost of nothing.

    And as the baby boomer spending reduces further watch more and more of them go under wondering how did this happen to me? – I was so shit hot for years.

    • Kevin Welsh 6.1

      Spot on DoS.

      They are what I refer to as B3 Managers. They’ve got the Beemer, the Bach and the Boat and they think they are Masters of the Universe.

      • prism 6.1.1

        Kevin – Add another B to make B4. They think of themselves as smart and wise like Warren Buffet, only without his resources.

        antispam – powerful.

      • Jum 6.1.2

        Kevin Welsh,

        Oh my gosh, I know one of those B3 Managers. I like the man, but he had no trouble flicking off long term workers when it suited. I was very disappointed in him.

      • Jim Nald 6.1.3

        I know one of them. He talks BS.

    • Tiger Mountain 6.2

      Well said DOS, these people used the low labour cost windfall from the ECA era for exactly what you describe, toys and ‘tight geared’ real estate acquisition. The Far North is littered with the fall out from their boof headed selfishness. I can put scores of names and business to the characteristics you describe.

    • Carol 6.3

      Some of us boomers have been living frugally all our lives, and have been putting money away for our old age. For myself, I’ve got into a secondary job part time, different from my main lifetime career, that I hope I can continue to do for a while. Never bought property, never aimed to get rich off the back of someone else. I don’t have any boomer friends who are into renting property out to others. Boomers are as diverse a bunch as any other generation…. there’s just a lot of us, and that is the main problem.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Quote of the day: Plutocracy edition.

    Larry Kudlow, step on down:

    “The human toll here, looks to be much worse than the economic toll and we can be grateful for that.”

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2011/03/larry-kudlow-devalues-human-life-with-japan-earthquake-freudian-slip.html

  8. Jim Nald 8

    I would like to run a competition through The Standard:
    ‘Guess John Key’s Next Photo-Op’

    It will run weekly with Friday 5pm deadlines for photos that will come up the following week.

    The loser gets my Thursday undie – used, unwashed.

  9. Jim Nald 9

    Looking forward to an update this upcoming week about the fuller story why Simon Power is abandoning the ship of Nat rats?
    Can’t see his future staying on?
    Vote of no confidence?

  10. logie97 10

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4763714/Training-could-cut-drowning-rate-by-75pc

    The tragedy that is the statistic of drownings in New Zealand.

    Good luck Bob Harvey with your trust. – You’re right – “This shouldn’t happen”. Yes you have identified that school pools have closed and you have quoted the curriculum requirements for Year 6 children. Stuff lauds the new Pools2Schools initiative which will take a heated, covered portable pool to schools. Bob, that scheme is fully booked for the next two years already.

    Perhaps, if councils like Waitakere had not been so busy using the West Wave type facilities as money spinners, and made the pools available free to its primary schools and subsidized the transport, there might have been a greater participation by schools in swimming programmes.

    Apparently Manukau city used to… what price the new Super City.

    captcha: health

  11. randal 11

    congratulations to brenda pilott in saturdays dompost for spilling the beans on Roger Kerr.
    he who wont put himself up for election but supplies the spurious and venal credo for the national party.
    he has caused more trouble than he is worth to this country and he does it with a superior smile and a sly knowledge that he is stealing from people and they cant do anything about it.
    government businesses are efficient and their problem is that they cant expand and only accumulate other assets which mr kerr and his mates want to get their grubbly little hands on so they can sell them off and then split to europe on the proceeds.
    his mo deserves greater exposure and his activities and beliefs subject to much more pub;ic scrutiny.

    • Jum 11.1

      Randal, where does the Kerr live most of the time – in New Zealand? What tax does he ultimately pay?

  12. randal 12

    jum.
    that is not the point.
    the point is this man who has never stood for election has managed to install a party that is going to carry offthe states assets.
    he claims that soe’s are inefficient when he knows that is not the truth.
    they are very efficient but because of their nature they cannot expand but only accumulate other assets.
    these are the things that are valuable and which he wants to steal from the people.
    people like him dont pay tax.
    they are too CLEVER for that.

  13. Jum 13

    Randal,

    Yes and No. I agree with what you say about the Kerr stealing our SOE’s. I was also intending to make the point he wouldn’t pay much if any tax.
    But if he doesn’t even reside in New Zealand, then he has no right whatsoever to tell New Zealanders how to deal with their assets.

    So, I still want to know; is there proof he pays no taxes? Is there proof of how much time he spends in New Zealand with his rotundtable misogynist mates? The guy needs to be politically crucified if he is like Lord Ashcroft, swanning around the world, engineering societies into poverty and cheap desperate labour. We already know Key and Hide are doing that here. We need to know exactly what the rotundtable puts into NZ. If they try to tell you what wonderful philanthropists they are, we also know they are just using the money they stole from us in the first place.

    I also believe he pays for the education of some up and coming Kerr think-alike that is trained (overseas?) to continue the work of engineering New Zealand in his master’s mould.

    I want the Kerr’s head on a platter with an apple in the front opening. He is a swiller of the first order.

  14. randal 14

    you right jum. he is a greedy pig and whats more the more he grabs the smarter he thinks he is.
    he loves treading on other people because he is an unreconstructed atavist and thinks its funny to steal off people who cant fight back.

  15. randal 15

    hopefully someone can answer your questions about whether he pays his share or just takes.

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