Open mike 19/05/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 19th, 2023 - 41 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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41 comments on “Open mike 19/05/2023 ”

  1. We have some really decent economists in Aotearoa … Brian Easton, Bernard Hickey, Raf Manji, Shamubeel Eaqub. What a pity that our budget is in the hands of an ineffective middle management type promoted to beyond his level of competence.

    Another wasted tinkering budget. The best thing I can say about it is

    "The Nats would have been worse"

    • Mike the Lefty 1.1

      If you are saying that the budget should be done by bean counters, then you have got it wrong.

      The budget is not just a financial statement, it is also a political programme for the future and economists lack such vision.

    • Johnr 1.2

      You do realise that economists are put on this earth to make metrologists look good

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Not even in their wildest dreams would Labour have expected National to do so much heavy lifting to get them re-elected.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/132083751/budget-2023-national-vows-to-bring-back-5-prescription-fees-if-elected

    Just the worst, grinchiest possible headline.

    • bwaghorn 2.1

      I don't know ,luxon on 3 news said that those with super gold cards and community service cards will get free prescription, rather than wealthy people,he's got a point,

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Usual problem. You're looking at the 80:20 law issues

        It costs way more to run a system with any arbitrary restrictions for delivery. So if you want to exclude say 20% of the population for one reason or another, because of the exclusions, you will reduce the amount available by more than 20%. That is because your punitive action made the system much more complex, requiring more work and administration by pharmacies, doctors, ministry staff, and probably even the police (ie fraud investigations)

        That is why (for instance) most WINZ benefits have about 30-40% wastage overhead on delivery of benefits. They have to check everything for eligibility based on a daft and punitive set of rules.

        Whereas national superannuation has about 2-3% overhead on far large quantities of benefit. The eligibility is super clear, doesn't require continuous rechecking, and the delivery is made to be a simple and as fast as possible. Usually directly to a bank account.

        But I guess many people don't bother to think punitive silliness through.

        • Phillip ure 2.1.1.1

          That overhead formula is another argument in favour of a universal basic income..

          • lprent 2.1.1.1.1

            Sure. Of course there are other considerations for UBI to work through as well apart from the friction-less aspects.

            For me making sure that there is enough resources to have both a liveable amount of UBI and having enough investment resources to maintain a economy to support having a UBI at the same time.

            No point in having a UBI if, for instance, it causes all of your transport systems to fail because of under investment in upgrading them for climate change, and that in turn causing the economy to crash

            Or being unable to have the spare resources to handle something like the covid epidemic when it shows up.

            Most of the discussions I see on things like UBI are quite unconvincing to me because the proponents seem to forget what the majority of the state effort is actually involved in. Instead they seem to think that the whole of the resource of a nation are accessible for just one aspect of what is required to keep everything operational.

            Many of the resources required to run a full UBI across the whole population would probably be politically in direct competition with what the state and economy currently does directly, indirectly, or as contingency planning.

            • Phillip ure 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Short answer:..get the needed resources for ubi by making the rich pay their fair share of taxes ..

              And tax the polluters…

        • bwaghorn 2.1.1.2

          Yeah but in this case the system is already running, gold cards and community cards are already in operation and let's face it the old would be the biggest users of the pharmacy

        • Belladonna 2.1.1.3

          However, for the prescription issue – the overheads are already in place.
          Community service card holders already get free prescriptions (after a certain threshold) as do Gold card users.

          Making both categories free from the $5 charge – would remove the current requirement for the chemist to count the current year's usage – and give them access to this up-front. So actually removing the current admin cost from the chemist.

          Personally, I don't need an exemption. And have been happy to pay the surcharge at my local chemist (rather than using the Chemist Warehouse across the road). [And, yes, there have been times in my life when I qualified for the CSC – and really needed the prescription rebate]

          I'm more in favour of giving exemptions to those who need them, rather than including those who don't.

      • Adrian 2.1.2

        Wealthy people, I'm one my wife ís another, have those cards but the poor don't. Do you think like Willis and Luxon that that should be the natural order.

        • alwyn 2.1.2.1

          Have you really got a Community Service Card, or have you just got the Super Gold Card that everyone getting National Super can have?

          The Community Services Card is means tested. For a couple getting National super, with no children, the limit on your combined income is $53,821. That doesn't really qualify as wealthy does it? Of course, if you still have 4 dependent children the limit gets up to 6 figures but with that many dependent children even $110,000 isn't going to seem that rich.

  3. Siobhan 4

    "The Government may spend billions buying overseas carbon credits over the next seven years. But monitoring of the health of our biggest homegrown carbon store was halved to save $500,000 a year. Nobody plans to restore it."

    I should say something here..some profound observation, a pithy critique or some such..but to be honest..I just feel like crying at the whole tragedy of our so-called "Climate Response". Oh yeah..but lets congratulate ourselves…"Government shrinks its carbon footprint by flying less"..Mother Nature will be thrilled..

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/132040724/health-checks-on-the-carbon-in-new-zealands-native-forests-were-halved-despite-warnings-over-the-risks#cx_testId=906&cx_testVariant=ctrl&cx_artPos=2

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/132016234/government-shrinks-its-carbon-footprint-by-flying-less#cx_testId=906&cx_testVariant=ctrl&cx_artPos=4

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      Carbon credits achieve nothing, tax carbon in nz and spend every cent in nz on mitigation

      • lprent 4.1.1

        That I agree with. A tax on all carbon emission sources makes sense. No exemptions.

        It also exposes the true costs of business and activities by removing freeloading on the commons. That in turn makes them more resource efficient.

        We should test it out of road user charges. I keep driving across new roads that have been torn up by trucks within a few years. Near as I can figure out, trucks RUCs are about a 10th of what they should be to pay for road maintenance. A perfect place for user-pays.

        😈

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.2

        Nailed it.

        Don't be allowing dodgy second and third world carbon boondoggles, and don't allow major emitters to externalize their responsibilities.

      • Graeme 4.1.3

        Got a cunning plan to get the agrarian sector on board with that concept.

        • bwaghorn 4.1.3.1

          Given methane is short lived and circular in the system, it needs to be viewed separately from fossil fuel emmisions, also numbers must be dropping due to the large amount of hill country being destocked .

          I think most rational farmers would exept a tax that has the money stay in nz to be spent on real fixes,especially if we stopped oversees polluters soothing their souls by gutting feral nz.

        • weka 4.1.3.2

          find the farmers who will form an ecologically literate alternative to Fed Farmers.

          • bwaghorn 4.1.3.2.1

            Unfortunately I'm a hermit solo dad (school weeks)who's fairly busy,with limited education and no patience for dickheads, so probably not suited to rounding up forward thinking cockies😉

            • weka 4.1.3.2.1.1

              would you join if it was set up?

              • bwaghorn

                Possible I guess, I'm only a block manager so it would depend on eligibility, I guess there's a little being careful not to put my head up to high,as a boys got to eat and getting tarred as a greeny might make things difficult.

                On the bright side we're fencing a fee more creeks off this winter and I'll be excluding cattle from some native blocks, so we don't all have to carry placards to make changes. 😉

                • weka

                  see, it's all those people doing good things and heading in the right direction that need better representation.

                  It would need some high profile farmers most who are more farmer than greenie if you know what I mean. Change the narrative that farmer = climate/ecology denier or Groundswell.

                  • bwaghorn

                    Not sure what the drove the boss to suddenly change the plan to fencing the creeks out, might been me, might been the his missus, most likly its outside influences affecting him with out him realizing it, but greeny he isn't and often when he opens his mouth act type theories poor out,

                    One of the better bosses I've had around fairness and treatment, complicated beasties us humans.

  4. The Chairman 5

    The Firefighters Union has stayed out of the media since the Loafers blaze, but broke its silence on Thursday after hearing the comments from FENZ.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2023/05/firefighters-union-at-odds-with-its-bosses-at-fenz-over-loafers-lodge-fire.html?fbclid=IwAR0BG2Udmiw__cEcblRPAHjLkyv7O9P_FpXriadaFanUiJRMf5hSO7pA598

    • Muttonbird 5.1

      Decent fire systems and safety features, and an on-site building manager, both the responsibility of the landlord would have saved lives, perhaps all off them.

      The loss of life lies first with the alleged arsonist (if that is how the fire started) and the landlord and building manager. More broadly, council and government regulations which I imagine have leaned, as they always do, on the side of landlords, and in this case the slumlord.

      • The Chairman 5.1.1

        You overlooked the main point of the report.

        The fire at Loafers highlighted deficiencies in our fire fighting capabilities due to old and poorly performing equipment.

        This needs to be addressed ASAP. Lives are potentially at risk.

        If FENZ won't even acknowledge the problem, they are unlikely to correct it.

        And that is a concern.

        • Muttonbird 5.1.1.1

          There's a lot more to correct than just our fire fighting capabilities.

          And that is a concern.

          • The Chairman 5.1.1.1.1

            The fact more needs to be improved upon suggests there is a even greater need to improve our fire fighting capabilities, ASAP.

    • gsays 5.2

      I know it wasn't reported as such at the time, because, you know, binary thinking…

      There was an element in the Wellies occupation and at the Marsden Point closure protest highlighting this issue: the perelous state of FENZ equipment and staffing.

      It is a stark contrast the two attitudes. The capitalist comes out with a nothing to see here, seemingly arse-covering display,before bodies are recovered.

      I recall a recent story about fire-fighters being exposed to asbestos in their own station but time is pressing and I can't find a link.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 5.2.1

        There was an element in the Wellies occupation and at the Marsden Point closure protest highlighting this issue: the perelous state of FENZ equipment and staffing.

        Link?

        There was this….

        https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2022/03/parliament-s-500-000-playground-set-on-fire-in-shocking-scenes-as-police-circle-in-on-protesters.html

        • gsays 5.2.1.1

          A link?

          You mean from Stuff in their Fury and Fire 'analysis' or the likes? Maybe the Disinformation Project? Or even from the Podium of Truth'?/sarc

          Sorry, that is one of the points I was making.

          You are gonna have to take this at face value or scroll on bye.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always 5.2.1.1.1

            So..no link. Just a reckon. And what are you on about ?

            • gsays 5.2.1.1.1.1

              More than a reckon.

              I had a couple of friends and acquaintances that attended the protest, so more like an insight.

              The points, as you are proving one of them, MSM isn't necessarily the best or only source of what is going on. Also the run down state of FENZ equipment has been causing concern for a while.

              That's all.

      • The Chairman 5.2.2

        I do remember concerns about the effect of mandates re staffing shortfalls.

        Reports of ailing equipment have been circulating for sometime now.

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