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Open mike 20/04/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 20th, 2016 - 71 comments
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71 comments on “Open mike 20/04/2016 ”

  1. Tautoko Mangō Mata 1

    Another reputable and independent expert, Jomo Kwame Sundaram, gives his opinion of the TPP.
    Jomo Kwame Sundaram was an Assistant Secretary-General responsible for analysis of economics and development in the United Nations system during 2005-2015, and received the 2007 Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.

    The Empire’s New Clothes? Conjuring Growth from the TPP
    While the main US motivation for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been to counter China’s influence in the region, it has also been used to undermine the Doha ‘Development’ Round of trade negotiations to better advance politically influential US corporate interests. Hence, it has become all the more necessary to legitimize the TPP in terms of its ostensible benefits.

    Jomo then discusses the studies.

    The only US government study of the TPP’s likely impacts found very modest growth gains from tariff reductions of only 0.1% over a decade. In fact, all studies so far project negligible direct economic growth gains from TPP trade liberalization.

    Instead, the Peterson Institute of International Economics (PIIE) has provided the fig-leaf for the empire’s new clothes with far more inflated projections of supposed gains.
    ….To make the case for the TPP, the PIIE understates costs and risks, while exaggerating benefits. Very diverse TPP provisions were fed into the trade model as simple cost reductions, with little consideration of downside risks and costs. Although such costs and risks are not seriously considered, the projections are nonetheless presented as cost-benefit evaluations.

    By understating crucial costs, and exaggerating projected benefits, net gains are overstated. For example, provisions to strengthen, broaden and extend intellectual property rights (IPRs) become simple cost reductions that will increase the trade in services. Such analysis ignores impacts on consumers or on governments subsidizing the prices of medicines to patients.


  2. ianmac 2

    According to Fran the founder of Alabama Jack Ma said””Trade is a freedom it should not be used by government as a weapon…”
    She thinks he meant China. I think he meant the USA and TPPA.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.1

      I agree with you, Ianmac.

    • alwyn 2.2

      Oh dear. Predictive text strikes again.
      Alibaba please. Not Alabama.
      The late George Wallace would turn in his grave if he thought a Chinese gentleman had founded the state of which he was so proud.

  3. Herodotus 3

    Who to believe … The patients in Dunedin or Mr Slater in Auckland
    Poor quality hospital food ‘a safety issue

  4. Around 9:35 am I will be talking to Raglan Radio Host Aaron Mooar about the ongoing saga of the Panama Papers, John Key’s visits to China, Malta and Mexico to name but a few countries.


  5. greywarbler 5

    On Bowalley Road commenter Guerilla Surgeon wrote about the company he used to work for when he made a good basic living for his young family at $1.56 an hour. He visited the town again and his son now works for the company and this is what he found.

    33 years later I found myself back in Winchester and close to Rubbermaid workers again…… I spent three months living with 34-year-old Tim, who had been pulling rotating shifts at Rubbermaid for five years. What I saw broke my heart. The working class world of my sons Rubbermaid friends was so harsh and insecure and barren of the dignity of labour that I damned near cried.

    Some commuted more than 100 miles from West Virginia to work, spending four or five hours a day in transit. One van load of workers commuted almost seven hours a day, taking turns driving while the rest caught up what sleep they could. Some slept on couches and in sleeping bags at Tim’s when the snow was too deep to drive home, which is often enough when you live in the mountains of West Virginia…..

    They were decent and quiet men….. All seemed worried to death about a possible plant move overseas and about bills, medical bills in particular. Their wives worked yet they barely kept their heads above water….. Here in Winchester we have been pistol whipped into a proper sense of gratitude so this is considered a good deal.”

    When looking at the USA elections we should keep this in mind. When things are so bad and you are just holding on by the skin of your teeth to the dream of a decent life on a secure livable wage how long can you hold your grip. And whicch pollie seems to offer a change at all – hopefully better?

  6. Penny Bright 6

    My prediction about a BIG voter turnout for the New York Primary seems to have been correct.

    I predict Bernie Sanders will win New York.


    “…Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said he is expecting a record turnout, although he acknowledged he’s not sure exactly what the record is.

    “All the conditions are right (for a record),” he said. “I think somewhere around 40 percent is a record.”

    The polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. in Central New York and most of the state. In New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Erie counties, the polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.


    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  7. adam 7

    I must say as this is Samantha Bee, bad language is in this video. Just another example of the why fundamentalism is very bad for society.

  8. Penny Bright 8

    Did anyone from New Zealand play any role in 1996 in helping to set up Niue as a tax haven?

    Seen this?


    “…. By the time Mossack turned his attention to the South Pacific, the Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Nauru were already in the offshore financial sector business. Nauru had 450 “banks” registered to a single government mailbox through which $70 billion of Russian mafia money passed in 1998, according to statements by the Russian central bank.

    Mossack bypassed those islands after reaching a 20-year exclusive deal in 1996 to handle offshore incorporations for Niue, a dependency of New Zealand. “We figured that if we had the exclusivity, we would avoid the price wars because in offshore jurisdictions there is a lot of competition going on,” Mossack said in 2000.

    Niue, which has a population of less than 1,600, received $100 a year from each of the 6,000 international business companies set up by Mossack Fonseca over eight years. Local lawyer Peleni Talagi, daughter of the current prime minister, became the firm’s agent, working out of one of the few commercial buildings in Alofi, the capital.

    Niue registration offered “total secrecy and anonymity,” with no need to file annual returns, the firm’s web ads bragged.

    By the late 1990s, Niue’s activities were attracting attention from bigger economies, represented by the Group of Eight and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The U.S. State Department’s 1999 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report said, “Niue’s thriving offshore financial sector has been linked with the laundering of criminal proceeds from Russia and South America.”

    In March 2000, Mossack visited New Zealand, which was trying to close his Niue business down. Foreign Minister Phil Goff refused to meet him.

    While on the trip, Mossack denied to this reporter that his Niue companies were laundering criminal receipts, saying his business involved people “trying to avoid paying taxes in their home countries.” Money laundering could not be carried out in Niue, he said, because it did not have a banking system. “Without the banking system, it is impossible to launder money,” he said.

    According to data compiled from Mossack Fonseca’s files by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the firm’s use of Niue as a tax haven peaked in 1999.

    International pressure on Niue continued to grow after that, with credit card networks instituting a block on usage on the island, threatening its small tourist industry. In 2004 Mossack Fonseca packed up its operations in Niue, though the island still ranks as the fifth most-used tax haven by the firm since 1977, according to the ICIJ’s calculations.

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  9. greywarbler 9

    My archives aren’t working. The last item that shows is from 18 April

    And something that often happens is that when I press on comment list on right wing I don’t get taken to the highlighted comment. I just pressed one in Open Mike and got taken to Panama Papers for instance. When I went back to list, neither of the close comments were on Panama papers so wasn’t a cursor slip.

    • lprent 9.1

      Heading home now. Last night I didn’t get to any of the niggles (I know what they are now). Went to Lyn’s nieces 5th birthday, ate Cake, felt ill and went to bed early. Might have felt ill prior to cake but it is hard tell when you are in traffic.

      I’ll get Lyn to cook to night and have a go at the fix.

  10. Penny Bright 10

    How islands in the South Pacific were used as tax havens and for money-laundering.



    Me and Jürgen Mossack: Michael Field on chasing the Panama Papers through the South Pacific in the ’00s

    By Michael Field
    April 7, 2016

    Outside the arcane world of tax havens few had noticed Mossack Fonseca creeping into the South Pacific, but New Zealand journalist Michael Field was one. He recalls how he confronted the co-founder of the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers data leak.

    Jürgen Mossack came to Auckland to shut me up.

    For a moment it felt like a war movie cliché. Steely eyed and ramrod straight, Mossack could have clicked his heels just as his German Waffen-SS father had.

    It was March 2000 and the 52-year-old co-founder of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca had already threatened me with legal execution in the form of a libel writ. In a rent-an-office space in Hobson Street, across the road from the Auckland District Court, he wanted a halt to my stories on his firm’s operations in Niue.

    Instead, by chance, I got one of the few media interviews he ever gave. I asked him whether his Niue tax haven operation was morally right. He thought a moment and replied: “There is a big grey zone, there is no clear cut area.”


    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  11. swordfish 11

    First wave of Exit Polls suggest Clinton 52% / Sanders 48% – far closer than the various pre-Election Polls had it. Probably due to significant under-estimation of both young voter turnout and Upstate turnout in the weighting of most polls (Hillary’s stronger in the five boroughs).

    52/48 would be an extraordinary result given that this is a closed primary where only Democrats can vote. Sanders usually blitzes the Independent vote (on average by 2 to 1) and in some States Independents have comprised up to half of his support (which is why he has such crossover appeal and consistently beats Clinton in all of the one-on-one match-ups with various Republican nominees).

    The exit polls suggest:
    Sanders winning 18-24 year olds by 85% to Clinton’s 15%
    Clinton winning the over 65s by 70% to 30%

    Sanders carries White voters by 9 points
    Clinton takes Latinos by 18 and Blacks by 43 points

    Reports of many voters, especially younger ones (including many College/Uni students) being turned away. Could be the winning margin right there.

    • joe90 11.1

      Could be the winning margin right there.

      More than a few problems with voter registration rules and purged electoral rolls.

      Ezra Koenig Verified account

      The New York primary is bullshit. Whoever wins – this is garbage. It’s voter suppression.


    • swordfish 11.2

      Nate Silver, however, is speculating that the Exit Polls may be wrong on this occasion.

      Clinton had a 10 point lead over Sanders in NYC in the Exit Poll, but currently (from votes counted) she has a much greater 62/38 advantage there.

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        As an aside, next Roy Morgan is due out on Friday. Any picks?

        • Puckish Rogue

          Not much change I reckon but because I prefer predictions to sitting on the fence I reckon it’ll be something like:
          National above 40%,
          Labour below 30%,
          Greens slightly lower then NZFirst

          Preferred PM (I won’t even mention John Key) will be:
          Winston second
          Little third

        • swordfish

          Eagerly anticipated.

          The really interesting thing about the last two polls (March Roy Morgan and April Colmar Brunton) is that they both bucked their own trends (at least in terms of the broader Oppo vs Govt results).

          All of the Colmar Brunton and Reid Research polls since late May 2015 (excepting the last) have placed the Oppo in front (by an average of almost 4 points in the CBs). The latest has the Govt leading by 5.

          By contrast, since the last Election, Two-Thirds of the Roy Morgans (and all of them from September through to February) have had the Govt leading. Whereas the latest put the Oppo ahead by 4.

    • swordfish 11.3

      Looks like the Polls may have been pretty much on the money this time. Probably a Clinton win in the double digits. But, as joe90 suggests – purged electoral rolls and voter suppression. Deep concern expressed by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. Significant number of young College students (overwhelmingly Sanders supporters) turned away.

  12. Chooky 12

    ‘New York primary live results: Trump and Clinton win’


    • swordfish 12.1

      Looks like the Polls might have been on the money this time. Clinton projected to win in the double digits. But, as joe90 implies, purged electoral rolls / voter suppression. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed deep concern. Younger College students (overwhelmingly Sanders supporters) appear to have been turned away in big numbers.

        • Penny Bright

          It ain’t over till it’s over….

          Bernie Sanders has been written off by some punters effectively from day one.

          As I keep saying – a year ago – who had even heard of Bernie Sanders?

          Penny Bright
          2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

          • tinfoilhat

            I’d very much like to see Sanders win the democratic nomination but you have to face reality that it’s not going to happen…… I wonder if there’s any chance that Clinton would choose him as a VP ?

            • Penny Bright

              Reality – in my view – is it ain’t over till it’s over….

              Penny Bright
              2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

              • tinfoilhat

                With all due respect Penny you and reality don’t often inhabit the same timezone.

                • Sacha

                  You and your evidence-based reasoning. 🙂

                • Penny Bright


                  Did you predict that Bernie Sanders would do as well as he has to date?

                  Who did?

                  (And – it ain’t over … 🙂

                  Penny Bright
                  2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

          • James

            And as you said he would win New York. Let’s face it. You have a pretty lousy track record of picking winners.

        • Penny Bright

          Seen this?


          New Zealand’s 2015 Financial Secrecy Index rating, by the Tax Justice Network.

          If Transparency International’s ‘Corruption Perception Index’ also included ‘financial secrecy’ criteria – how different would the former ratings be?

          Why DOESN’T Transparency International include ‘financial secrecy’ in their ‘Corruption Perception Index’?

          Where do the corrupt hide their bribes and their ill-gotten gains?

          Makes rather a farce, in my opinion, of both Transparency International’s ‘Corruption Perception Index’ and New Zealand’s ‘perceived’ status as now the fourth ‘least corrupt country in the world’?

          (Mind you – I have been saying this for some time. Perhaps now more people will pay attention?)

          Penny Bright
          2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

      • Ad 12.1.2

        The one good thing Sanders is doing for twill put stakes through he inevitable Clinton nomination is keep pulling Clinton leftwards in policy terms, without trashing Obama’s domestic policy achievements.
        If both of them can turn the Democratic Convention away from being a nomination contest and towards a policy achievement platform, they will have done the whole electorate some good.

        Sanders, like Trump, could still stuff it all up by directing his supporters away from supporting the Democratic Party towards a simple free vote, or going Independent. But I’ll grant Sanders is smarter than Trump politically.

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s an easy to avoid situation; Clinton simply offers Sanders the position of running mate.

          • Scythe

            100% not going to happen. Hilary is to the right of Obama. She’ll pick some bum from the DNC who’ll cowtow to Wall Street.

    • McFlock 13.1


      • UglyTruth 13.1.1

        “Lightning effect and duration of the fire ball being suspended in mid air and the very large mushroom cloud is the main give away, that is because it is being hit by neutrons from the nuclear fireball blast. It overloads the ccd’s electronic circuit producing white flashes. If the radiation is too high it will burn out the chip.” ~ Jeff Smith, former IAEA inspector

        • McFlock


          ok, a couple of questions – how many cases of radiation poisining occurred from this supposeduse of nuclear weapons closeenough to a population base to disrupt electronic devices with its neutron radiation?

          Why did the neutron radiation cause damage to the camera, but the EMP emitted by every nuclear blast failed to fry said camera?

          Why did the neutron radiation from a source several kilometres away not cause a uniform distribution of interference across the entire surface of a small, two-dimensional CCD/CMOS focal plane?

          Are nuclear bombs the only type of big explosion to cause a mushroom cloud?

          Lastly, are you aware how fucking stupid you are?

  13. Bearded Git 14

    Unfortunately Clinton winning by 58-42. But Sanders has taken most of the counties; Clinton the metropolitan areas. Still not too bad as the delegates are proportional;104-85.

    ….and the good news is Trump won well


    • Chooky 14.1

      yes if it is between Trump and Clinton…Trump might just win

      • Bearded Git 14.1.1

        I think not Chookyman, that is the wonderful thing about Trump winning. If the Americans elect him over Hillary/Bernie they will be a laughing stock.

        The other thing is that if Trump is the candidate this will push some voters to vote for Democrats in the House and the Senate-they might win both!

      • tinfoilhat 14.1.2

        If Trump secures the republican nomination it will the biggest win for the democrats since Lyndon Johnson swamped Barry Goldwater.

    • Ad 14.2

      If anyone complains about the mess Trump and Cruz are going to make of the GOP Conference, they might want to have a look at what Sanders is going to do to the Democratic Convention. At some point he’s going to actually join the Democratic Party properly rather than masquerading.

      • adam 14.2.1

        Do you understand any USA politics or history Ad?

        How about the new deal, and the deals made with independents to make that happen – know any of that history?

        Because if you keep running with a sad talking points from fox news, you should acknowledge your source.

        • Ad

          I don’t watch Fox.

          If the US elects anyone more left as President than Obama this century, I’ll eat my hat.

          • adam

            Then why are you using fox talking points?

            Why are you so scared of the left Ad?

  14. Wayne 15

    Pretty hard to see how Sanders can get the nomination from here.

    I am confident that Hillary will beat either Cruz or Trump. She will have a decisive lead among key voter groups. Women, the majority of all voters, surely will mostly vote for Hillary over either Cruz or Trump.
    And she will have a lead with Black and Larino voters. Even if white male voters go with either Republican options, there is simply not enough of them.

    Hillary will also do impressively well in the debates, especially against Trump. If it is Cruz it will be harder since Cruz is real smart and articulate, but many of his political positions will seem to be extreme for many in middle America. Mind you he could suddenly become a sensible moderate, easpecilly in the debates. Might not be easy to rebut within the tight confines of a debate.

    • lprent 15.1

      That is pretty much how I read the politics over there as well.

      But even that is qualified. Depends how much the Republican party gets behind their final extremist candidate. While Trump thrives as being a demagogue, and Cruz is rightly regarded with suspicion by virtually every member of the Republican congress, there are a lot of very good political managers amongst the Republicans.

      Plus of course the reptilian convention may not support either. I haven’t seen what, if any, changes have happened in the rules for this year. If they remove that rule from last time about having to win x states in the primaries, then all hell may break loose.

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      Hillary will also do impressively well in the debates, especially against Trump.

      Nope; Trump will have it over Hilary every step of the way in the televised debates.

    • Sacha 15.3

      “I am confident that Hillary will beat either Cruz or Trump.”

      How do you see Clinton faring against Kasich, if he turns out to be the brokered candidate?

      • Wayne 15.3.1

        Might be harder, though I think she would still win.

        I must say I don’t understand why so many Americans have a negative view of her. I can understand why people may not agree with her (that’s politics) but what has she done that cause people to distrust her?

        • Pat

          might have something to do with the fact she is bankrolled by, and supports the status quo as the American middle class watches their hopes of a future for their children (and themselves) disappear into the bank accounts of those that have far more than they could ever possibly need….I believe its called greed

  15. Macro 16

    Ok so how many Politicians could give this off the cuff answer on Quantum Computing?

    Not only has he formed an equal gender Cabinet and appointed Ministers who might actually know what they are doing, he is also taking a hard long look at the TPPA.

    • Rodel 16.1

      Can you imagine our PM giving an answer like this?
      Axshully no….but
      God defend New Zealand..

  16. Penny Bright 17

    Is the UK Government serious in their supposed opposition to tax evasion?

    According to Professor Prem Sikka – no.

    Seen this?


    “After the Panama leaks, the Conservative government is desperately trying to portray itself as the scourge of organised tax avoidance. It is consulting on draft legislation which would introduce a new corporate criminal offence of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion. Such promises have become part of impression management, but have rarely delivered.

    A good case study of the smoke and mirrors tax avoidance policies is the government’s much trumpeted Guidance on Promoting Tax Compliance and Procurement. These rules came into effect on 1st April 2013 and were meant to ensure that organisations engaged in tax avoidance/evasion are barred from securing public contracts.

    … ”

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  17. McFlock 18

    Good to see the opposition parties cooperating at an electorate level. In this case protesting the abysmal food at SDHB hospitals following outsourcing to Compass group caterers.

    And for Coleman who thinks their meals are fine: the meals on wheels service has lost just under half its clients – amazing what happens when you don’t have a captive audience. Hell, people who can afford it are getting other food delivered to their hospital beds rather than eating the gravy.

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