Open mike 17/05/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 17th, 2010 - 25 comments
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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.

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Step right up to the mike…

25 comments on “Open mike 17/05/2010”

  1. Jenny 1

    In association with University of Auckland, ECOFEST presents a panel discussion:

    “A Financial Transactions Tax — Can Robin Hood save the world’s poorest?’.

    Tim Hazledine, Professor of Economics, University of Auckland;

    Jim Stanford, Economist, Canadian Auto Workers’ Union;

    Barry Coates, Executive Director, Oxfam New Zealand.

    Moderated by Yvonne Underhill-Sem, Director of Development Studies, University of Auckland.

    Our panel will discuss the Financial Transactions Tax, a tiny tax on banks which could provide billions of dollars of vital funding for tackling poverty and climate change.

    There’s growing international momentum behind the so called ROBIN HOOD TAX, so come along and find out what it’s all about!

    When; Tonight, Monday, May 17, 6pm 7.30 pm,

    Where; 039 Clock Tower, University of Auckland City Campus

  2. prism 2

    Listening to RadioNZ political editor backgrounding this weeks budget stating government aims – more savings, rejigging income tax so that there will be more incentives to work harder etc. What an Animal Farm situation. A hidden agenda behind stated aims, plotters manipulating the public they avow they are serving is the backbone of the Animal Farm story and true for us too.

    More savings would be encouraged if the tax on savings was drastically reduced. At times of low interest, savings are depreciated by inflation, so where is the incentive to save when I think the lowest tax on interest is 19.95% (go for this bargain – tax reduced to under 20%). See on your bank statement, the government using the banks as agents, whips out 1c tax when you get as low as 20c interest! But government is unwilling to reduce revenue by running a fairer, and more rational program. Also consumer spending makes our country’s turnover look good. To slow it down might show the truth- we have a lacklustre economy.

    In fact it would be worthwhile, and save on ink and paper, if government got the banks to do a 6 monthly computer check of combined interest and only charge tax when interest exceeds say $100. That would require a large capital sum. As well, government could offer the old-time housing saving accounts, the saver put money aside regularly towards a first home, and then could access an affordable interest rate for a longer term, ten years say these days. The saver establishes credit-worthiness, restrains impulse buying, and savings increase.

    And there is nothing wrong with people owning a house. The constant refrain against housing being used as investments being bad for general investment patterns, only applies to those buying multiple houses as personal profit and pension plans.

    As for working harder, who does this apply to? Perhaps politicians, they could spend less time relaxing at Bellamys and I understand the quantity some of them drink at watering holes around Wellington would make your eyes water.
    For the rest of us, we are amongst those in the OECD working the longest hours already.

    National and Labour did not move to prevent high housing inflation and so caused the financial mismanagement by young people who didn’t have an achievable goal of an affordable house as an incentive to save. They instead spent and borrowed for consumer items often soon abandoned. The carrot of having one’s own home has been constantly moved further along and the public treated as donkeys, follow in hope of getting security and choice of housing. These are likely to be the savers most desired, those who caused the credit boom and bust. If encouraged to save by incentives from government, through banks, for a house which is more to a houseowner than just a large capital purchase, there would be a fast turn-around in savings behaviour.

  3. Anne 3

    On Radio NZ’s political session this morning Matthew Hooten tried to do a hatchet job on The Standard blog site. He claimed (and I paraphrase) that Standard posters were pushing a “conspiracy theory” involving North Shore conservatives and the government with the deliberate intention of stirring trouble between Maori and Pakeha. Another attempt to divert attention away from Key’s appalling handling of the Tuhoe affair? Probably.

    I think The Standard needs to respond.

    • prism 3.1

      Hootin’ and barkin’ at it again? Who are these North Shore conservatives? And why is their conserve a superior sort of jam to other fruit-loop concoctions?

    • lprent 3.2

      One of us probably will eventually. Matty Hooter has a habit of making extravagant assertions that are short-term and easy to fend. Then of course it is fun to point out exactly how daft he and his assertions are.

      Puzzled though – offhand, I can’t remember a post that even suggested anything remotely like that. Oh well I’ll have a listen later and see where his convoluted logic got that from.

      • just saying 3.2.1

        It was Tumeke.
        Some on the Standard might have mentioned something similar, but Tumeke did a big post on it. It was very clever I might add, but Hooton has his websites mixed-up

        • lprent 3.2.1.1

          Oh that will be fun 😈

          Was it on NatRad and approx what time?

          • Tigger 3.2.1.1.1

            http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/ntn/2010/05/17/politics

            Starts around 9:55. Nice advertising for the site – URL and everything given.

          • Anne 3.2.1.1.2

            It was the Monday morning political slot about 11:15am.

            I think he was also being ‘misleading’ about some comments at The Standard last week to the effect that Key had allowed himself to be spooked by some “white, conservative Nats” at a North Shore function he had attended. There was no suggestion I can recall of any deliberate policy to stir the racist pot.

          • just saying 3.2.1.1.3

            Listening to the actual RNZ item, I think Hooten was talking about the Standard post “Key Sends Message to Tuhoe” and maybe conflating it with the tumeke article re the “orange free state” – ie the North shore focus group post on Tumeke.

  4. frew 4

    The government has said it will compensate me for the increase in GST. How exactly?

    I don’t earn any money, so no tax cuts for me.
    I’m not on a benefit either, so no benefit increase either.

    I’m a student. I borrow about $160 a week to live, and pay about $150 a week for rent and basic food items/power/internet. $10 is supposed to cover everything else. I haven’t heard anyone mention how students will be compensated.

    So how will the Government compensate me? Increase the amount I can borrow? That’s not compensating me as I have to pay it back. Introduce some form of universal student allowance? Not with National. I suppose that they will argue that I will pay lower tax when I graduate, which will mean that I can service a bigger loan. But those tax cuts are to compensate workers (ie the future working me) for higher costs incurred at the time of working, not for compensating former students for extra costs incurred years ago.

    I guess myself and the tens of thousands of students living in something like a scarfie flat will be the ones who will pay for others to be better off. And then there’s the story of my rent going up…

    • marsman 4.1

      frew…. Basically you’re fucked. All the poor are fucked. The country is fucked. But we knew that when National slithered into power.

    • prism 4.2

      And then there is the possibility of not getting a decent salary after all your studying and succeeding. And then too you may not be able to find a job using your special knowledge, and end up being a filing clerk (if that job is not redundant today).

      Interesting how hard it is for some people to get jobs. Having much computer systems experience seems to receive little demand in Auckland. If employed you are on contract, so the company feels free to shed you or renegotiate but offering less money. When job hunting the salaries offered for such jobs is very ordinary, and you can’t balance that by saying well it is cheap to live in NZ. And the cost of things will soon rise further thanks to government intervention. (Interesting how governments can intervene in the market when it suits them).

  5. schrodigerscat 5

    Wow, John Key gets noticed enough in San Francisco to be awarded the “Dim bulb of the week” award

    http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/10-worst-ideas-of-the-week-Sunday-May-16-2010-93828354.html

    • prism 5.1

      While looking at the link to 10 worst ideas I picked a USA one I thought worth mentioning. Hope this pizza parlour treatment isn’t the next step after more cost cutting here.
      (Someone I know had an op in Auckland, leaving a big wound down the stomach. The person was sent home to convalesce, with no dressings. The patient would be overseen by their GP. No help from district nurses was made available. The patient was supposed to be recovering but was also supposed to obtain their own dressings and see the GP. The wound wept and pus built up, regular change of dressings was required so a large amount of dressings needed. Eventually the GP referred the patient back to the hospital and the patient got some care and serious attacks by antibiotics were needed. Outcome positive, all good, but no thanks to hospital care.)
      And this is the sort of care that we are cutting down on.

      From sfexaminer.com
      A sick hospital
      8) Long delays, privacy violations alleged at ER
      The details: At the Los Angeles County-USC ER, patients had to wait as long as 35 hours to be seen — and in some cases, vital signs were never taken, according to a complaint from a patient who is also a health care provider. She said patients’ names were posted on monitors that described their symptoms and date of birth; that patients were so crammed into the waiting room many had to stand; and that nurses were overwhelmed and disgruntled. Los Angeles County is looking into the allegations.

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is having only minimal environmental effects on land, but it may be causing serious problems in the water, some scientists say.

    Wind, currents and chemicals being sprayed on the oil are combining to keep most of the oil gushing from the sea floor out in the water. Scientists say they are growing increasingly concerned about two effects: the damage the oil might do to sea life and the possibility that currents might take some oil around Florida and up the East Coast

    Wall St Journal (warning: WSJ)

    Beware: Godzilla does not like it when you shit in his bed. The Rude Pundit (warning, he is a rude pundit)

  7. Standardistas interested in closing the gap with Oz should watch Campbell Live tonight. The EPMU have struck a deal where Kiwi workers on a trans-Tasman oil rig will get Aussie rates of pay. Unions 1, Don Brash 0.

  8. Quoth the Raven 8

    A piece on the US carry trade in which big banks get money for near zero interest from the state and buy US treasuries which pay out at a higher interest rate.

    So how does this carry trade work?

    Well, it basically has three steps and it works something like this….

    #1) Mr. Big Bank goes over to the Federal Reserve and says, “Hey Mr. Federal Reserve – please loan me a big bag of cash for next to nothing.” Of course, the Federal Reserve is more than happy to loan it to him.

    #2) Mr. Big Bank then invests the same big bag of cash into U.S. Tresuries which have a much higher interest rate than what Mr. Big Bank just borrowed at. To give you an idea, 10-year U.S. Treasuries are earning around 3 and a half percent right now.

    #3) Mr. Big Bank sits back and enjoys the huge amount of risk-free cash which comes pouring in.

    This little three step procedure helped enable four of the biggest U.S. banks (Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup) to have a “perfect quarter” during the first quarter of 2010. What that means is that these four banks had zero days of trading losses in the first quarter.

    Of course you should look the other way because according to progressive/social democrat mythology the state is their to restrain big business. No according to their like a “robin hood tax” is needed because government interference in the market requires more government interference in the market and we wouldn’t want to question the etatist shibboleth of central banking because that would be bourgeois free market thinking.

  9. Most interesting discussion on the Chris Laidlaw show with Californian Prison Chaplin Ron Gibbons on the 3 Strikes and Out law in California .
    He convincingly spoke on the disaster that will happen if this bill is passed.
    It has cost the Californian tax-payer millions. It has completly failed , and Rodney Hide should take note of this knowledgeable man. How many heard this interview?.

    • uke 9.1

      yeah, it was compelling stuff.

    • RedLogix 9.2

      Yes I did.

      The most interesting point he made that I had not thought of before was this.

      It is of course police prosecutors who get to determine what charges are laid, and it is the charge that comes with the mandatory sentencing regime. The resulting problem as he saw it was that mandatory sentences shifted the point of discretion away from open, contestable Courts into the closed offices of the prosecutors.

      Because the most critical point of the process is now shifted out of public view to unaccountable police prosecutors, the potential for abuse and miscarriages of justice is greatly increased.

  10. Zorr 10

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3703766/Government-to-cover-25-percent-of-leaky-home-repair-bill

    Leaky homes package: we were wrong but we’re not guilty – please take this small token offering.

  11. RedLogix 11

    Oh and in the meantime the climate has been setting another new record.

    (Capchta = logic !! It had to come around eventually:-)

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