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Open mike 17/11/09

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 17th, 2009 - 34 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


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

Over to you…

34 comments on “Open mike 17/11/09 ”

  1. Bored 1

    A most perceptive comment from Prism yesterday “So many and particularly those of the right wing persuasion, talk and think about government as if it is a service centre for their own needs and wants”.

    Deserves some real debate.

    • Evenmorebored 1.1

      Prism could just as well have said

      “So many and particularly those of the left wing persuasion, talk and think about government as if it is a service centre for their own needs and wants’.

      and it would have been just as valid.

      • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1

        Now that really is boring, unless you can justify it.

        One example of this is how people talk about ‘taxpayers’ rights. This is silly talk; people don’t gain any rights as taxpayers (or at least they shouldn’t), they get rights as citizens.

        “Taxpayers” rights, for what they are worth, are limited to having their tax bill properly established and payment collected. They have a right to dispute the amount or what have you, but I can’t see how they get any rights beyond that by virtue of paying tax.

        It’s the same with “tax payers money”. That makes no more sense than “telecom customer’s money” being spent by telecom on whatever. It ceases to be the ‘taxpayers’ money when they hand it over to the Crown. After that it becomes the Crown’s money. All citizens a have a say in how that money is spent, collected, and accounted for through the political process. They gain that say by virtue of their citizenship, not their status as a ‘taxpayer’.

        • vto

          Yes, and therein lies one of the biggest problems Ps B.

          The larger number of one type of citizen can vote to impose their own desires (not even needs) on the smaller number of taxpayers. The tyranny of the majority.

          This was one of the big gripes with Clark and Cullen buying votes – or rather telling a larger number of one type of citizen that they can have x, y, z by taking it off the smaller number of taxpayers, eg the 39%ers.



          Citizenship / Votership / Taxpayership should be, within obvious reason, reasonably closely aligned in the interests of long term stability.

          • Pascal's bookie

            “long term stability’

            The system seems to be working ok so far v.

            But stability cuts both ways.

            Handing out extra rights to the elites, or doing other things to protect them from the masses, should the masses choose to use the ballot gain them, is also a recipe for instability. Pitchforks, tumbrils etc.

            As for buying votes, righties do it different. They promiss tax cuts funded out of spending/service cuts. The spending/service cuts never seem to eventuate however, so the tax cuts are actually just a shifting of taxation to the future.

            • vto

              Yes of course. It is a balancing act between the forces which should never be lost sight of lest all hell breaks loose.

              I just thought it was a bit too far off in one direction when you said that taxpaying and voting should never be linked. That is a recipe for disaster. They were of course linked completely in he past when only landowners and taxpayers could vote. That has morphed to todays situation – but that morphing seems to be slowly continuing where the link is becoming too broken.

              Rights and obligations must always go together lest all hell breaks loose (again). Rights to receive with no obligation to contribute will make a system, any system, fail. Similarly with being obliged to contribute without a commensurate right to receive.

              Anyway, its a blue blazer day here and the ocean beckons so must attend..

          • Pascal's bookie

            “use the ballot agin them”

          • prism

            There certainly is a tyranny in making use of percentages all the time, they appear to be a good measuring device but rather they are a sliding scale. The intention when the 39% tax was that then you were earning a good whack. Where Cullen was slack, was in not putting earnings on an inflation index which would have ensured that people didn’t slide into higher tax bracket as soon as they got a short distance into the middle income bracket.

            No amount of clever replies by Cullen in the House could excuse that omission. I got sick of his smug little smile, father knows best look.

        • Noko

          All citizens a have a say in how that money is spent, collected, and accounted for through the political process.

          No they do. Especially 16 and 17 year olds, who (along with anyone of any age) pay GST, and work just as hard as the rest of the population. 17 year olds can volunteer for the military, and are criminally responsible. Why should they be allowed the vote, and the chance to influence policy (aside from writing a letter to Micheal Lhaws and getting abused for it)?

          • Pascal's bookie

            Good points. I think the voting age should definately be looked at. But I don’t think the qualification for getting the franchise should be the ‘tax paying’ part.

      • prism 1.1.2

        Not really EMB. Usually the left wing want services provided for great numbers of people, so they are likely to be more democratic than right wingers who want to stay a small tight percentage at the top of the wealth pyramid, or are people who want to reach that group and to hell with everyone else.

  2. Ron 2

    Um, no, EMB – that’s not debate……..

  3. jcuknz 3

    I suggest that it is good debate, pointing out that people have universal aims irrespective of their politics when it comes to the nitty gritty … but you need to have two eyes to see the truth of the matter.

    • Ron 3.1

      Agreed. But my comment was made this morning and ought to have appeared straight after EMB’s first comment….which wasn’t

  4. Tigger 4

    Key is already softening us up for accepting the dead rats the US will demand for a ‘free trade’ deal.

    “You can’t rule out Pharmac – it has been on the list before. You can’t rule out issues of intellectual property and investment. All of those things will inevitably be part of the negotiations,” Key said.”

    • gitmo 4.1

      I think you can rule out PHARMAC being on the hit list Tigger.

      They are a model that is being increasingly used in other countries and most of the US based Pharma companies are dead or in their death throes in NZ, god knows what he’s on about in relation to IP – PHARMAC hacks prices on medicines via tender after they have lost IP protection not before.

      • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1

        “I think you can rule out PHARMAC being on the hit list Tigger.”

        Wanna bet? We may not give in, but you bet your arse the USA will have it on their list of things.

        Q) Why are the US pharma co’s dead or in their death throes in NZ?

        A) PHARMAC?


        Q) What will they want their government to be doing in FTA negotiations?

        • gitmo

          I think you over estimate the importance of NZ to US durg maunfacturers – we’re five tenths of fuck all.

          The primary reason that PHARMAC has been successful in NZ is the companies fighting each other and very cheap generics out of India and Europe.

          While I’m sure that it would be on the wish list of the americans in relation to an FTA I’m also pretty sure it’s something they could give up pretty easily whereas I seriously doubt we’re going to get open access to sell our dairy, meat, etc etc into the US anytime soon.

    • vto 4.2

      A free trade deal with the USA simply scares the living daylights out of me.

      Count me out.

  5. Tigger 5

    So when Key says I shouldn’t rule out Pharma, gitmo, I shouldn’t believe him?

    vto – agreed.

    • gitmo 5.1

      I think he’s just producing a soundbite nothing more nothing less.

      I’d also echo VTOs comments about an FTA with the US – best people review what the real benefits have been for Australia.

      Our big opportunity would be horticulture/agriculture and you can bet that there’ll be more hooks than in a Mitre 10 store.

      • Tigger 5.1.1

        US drug companies are notoriously venal. I’d say Pharmac is under threat big time.

        In other words, I am agreeing with Mr Key.

        Hell just froze over.

        • gitmo

          Nah the US drug companies have enough trouble with generic (off patent) suppliers in their own country to give a crap about NZ anymore – times have moved on.

          • Ron

            I don’t think it’s the companies that you have to worry about in the first instance. It’s the ideologues. They are quite capable of quietly inserting clauses that rule out sovereign decision making processes such as Pharmac simply becuase they (the politicians) see such processes as barriers to the God of Free Trade

            • prism

              And once we have free trade won’t all of us in this country have the opportunity to be rich and wealthy and rewarded for our work! I don’t think. Sweat shop work again, after people laboured years ago to get away from that. Worker fired because she shared her complimentary cola with a friend, being timed on the toilet, no decent lunchhour (people used to rustle out to buy some vegs for tea, make a phone call, attend to personal business in their lunch hour along with a quick bite, now your tea is hardly cool before you’re due back at work) Living and working conditions keep deteriorating with these empty politicians serving big business.

      • prism 5.1.2

        gitmo – Could you give the address for the review of USA free trade agreement that has been good for Australia. I have wondered how they were doing. It wasn’t touted as being useful to them, more the opposite.

  6. Tigger 6

    Ian Wishart at his blog “I love the way greens often use children as emotionally manipulative props in their various propaganda schemes.”

    Yes, only the greens do that sort of thing… Tosser.

    • outofbed 6.1

      I’m a Green and I don’t often use children as emotionally manipulative props in my various propaganda schemes.
      I don’t hit them either

    • prism 6.2

      Ian Wishart expresses ideas in his writing which can be summarised as follows –
      “emotionally manipulative props in [his] their various propaganda schemes.’

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Useless thought experiment for the day:

    Imagine everyone was asked what job, of all those available, they would like to do.

    Imagine that everyone capable of doing their preferred job would have the training for that job provided.

    Imagine that remuneration for jobs was determined by the supply of qualified candidates vs the number of jobs, so if there are lots of candidates for a few positions the wage would be lower than where there were few candidates for jobs with lots of vacancies.

    How much would people who clean up other people’s shit get compared to more interesting work?

  8. outofbed 8

    better then the shit wages they get now
    thats 4sure

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