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Open mike 23/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 23rd, 2011 - 31 comments
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31 comments on “Open mike 23/01/2011 ”

  1. Carol 1

    Whoa! A Sunday Star Times report and Horizon survey say that NZ is now one of the most unequal countries in the developed world.


    Accusations that New Zealand is one of the worst performers in the developed world when it comes to the income gap between rich and poor have been validated by a Sunday Star-Times survey.

    Conducted by Horizon Research, it shows the burgeoning gap between the haves and have-nots is frothing over into resentment, anger and disillusionment.

    The article also refers to evidence in The Spirit Level

    In their 2009 book Spirit Level, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argue that almost every social problem common in developed societies – reduced life expectancy, child mortality, drugs, crime, homicide rates, mental illness and obesity – has a single root cause, inequality.

    It also reports some comments from Wilkinson on the wealth gap in NZ.

    Wilkinson told the Sunday Star-Times that inequality rose faster in New Zealand in the late 1980s than in any other country.

    While some in the Horizon survey trotted out the bennie-bashing kinds of comments, others were very angry about the unequal tax shift, the GST hike and the tax cuts for the rich, and the way benficiaries are being scape-goated.

    The survey certainly supports the two-nations thesis about the current state of NZ.

    • LynW 1.1

      This is exactly the type of information New Zealanders need to see and hear, especially in election year. This is the everyday reality many of us see and experience but the message needs to be louder and clearer and more out there! What sort of nation do we want to belong to. People need to be motivated and mobilsed to march or at least speak out so the message is delivered.

      • Salsy 1.1.1

        Exactly – ive always thought the English and Key’s vision is to turn us into another joberg. If they get elected again, im investing in a window bar company, then leaving..

    • just saying 1.2

      Ta Carol.

      What with coverage about Hone’s situation, a good Sunday for the left,

    • prism 1.3

      Causing inequality is a deliberate ploy of the wealthy and self-interested and neo liberals. The idea is that people (other people) will work harder and aspire to improving themselves if they are not well paid. A happy stable country where most are able to earn enough to live comfortably is a country that needs fat cut out of it, is a complacent, lazy country that needs the goad of insufficiency to make people strive for more and work when required. We are on our way towards Dickensian conditions here, the days when working men turned up ready for work and would be chosen at the whim of some flunkey.

      An example of what can happen when complacency and rigidity rule the workplace though, is when a group of ship loaders/stevedores decided to manufacture an excuse (probably safety) so they could take a holiday off, which was in a busy period for shipping. That meant that the ships and goods sat around for an extra day at a cost of money and perhaps quality deterioration. The workers wanted to have holiday time to do things in the community. But both sides were complacent here, workers also the employers who could have had alternate teams working and free. and alleviated this problem.

      • Rosy 1.3.1

        “The idea is that people (other people) will work harder and aspire to improving themselves if they are not well paid”

        No, it’s only the people doing the non-managerial jobs than need to be incentivised to work harder by having low pay. Managerial people are incentivised to do a good job by having high pay, bonuses and keeping more of it through tax cuts. Clearly their brains work differently to the non-managerials who need to keep having things taken off them so they’ll turn up to work

        • Bill

          How many $$ will it take for you to flush your conscience down the toilet?

          The answer to that implicit question is what lies behind the salary of many higher ranking managerial posts.

    • Vicky32 1.4

      I am amazed at the paper publishing that, but very glad that they have..

  2. Deadly_NZ 2

    Tolley said it. “Anything goes in election year”


    Apart from the fact she looks tired and completely all at sea in this photo.
    But how many more times has she got to flip flop on this NCEA thing? Now she says AK grammer can go it’s own way? WTF I think she has lost her marbles and has finally proved she is not up to this job.

    Now we just have to wait for her to cry foul after she says anything goes, or is it anything goes for the NACTS??

    • millsy 2.1

      Mrs Tolley has just given implicit approval for schools such as Grammar to ditch the NCEA.

      Watch as the other grammar schools in the Auckland area (and the richer schools across the country) follow suit over the next year or so.

      The end result will be a two tier education sytem, like Britain before the 1970’s (and what right wingers bang on about).

      The wealthier schools will offer the Cambridge exams, and the poorer schools will offer the NCEA, which, as universities start restricting entry, will be geared towards vocational qualifications. Some schools in between will probably offer both, NCEA for the less bright kids slated to spend their life stacking shelves, and the Cambridge exams for those earmarked for uni.

      You heard it here first – a defacto dismantling of our universal edcuation system

  3. US cities skating on the edge of bankruptcy

    Unfortunately you will need broadband to view the link below. Teacher and police numbers slashed, Council workers reduced by 1/4 or more. All adding to the unemployment numbers.

    With the collapse of the real economy, massive underemployment, complete unwillingness to look at tax increases on the rich, and the ongoing shifting of wealth to the top 1% of Americans, this is what is happening to US communities all across the States.

    Its a cluster-frak to the poor house. In the richest nation in the world.


    • ZeeBop 3.1

      How could anyone conceive of voting for National? How the hell is their vote holding up? Look its simple, nothing will change, they will continue to hold down the price of oil for as long as they can push yet more extreme right nutbar policies. And the only solution is to buy oil and burn it until the elites get real. They need the whole society, fully informed, not liars and lies wall to wall. The sooner the oil price goes up the better. Do your bit, give a boy racer the one finger salute and hope they give you a oil burning salute back ;-).

    • M 3.2

      CV, wonderful, gouging vignette – wonder if he has a price on his head?

      For such a rich nation the irony is so thick you could it with a knife.

      Anti-spam: matches

      • The US only has a few years to turn things around before its position becomes really fragile. Obama has really capitulated to big business in order to try and win a 2nd term.

        I don’t understand the thinking of the top 0.5% of the population there. They get on to a good thing but then insist on pushing their privilege to the utmost nth degree, degrading circumstances for everyone else to a terrifying extent just so that they themselves can afford a second jet, third boat, fourth Ferrari etc.

    • millsy 3.3

      Ive been reading all about that. Really digusting.

      The irony is that the same people who are cutting the pensions of these police and fire-fighters were fetishising them as heroes 10 years ago when 9/11 hit (10 years, that long, jeez time flies)

      • Yeah then they decided that they didn’t want to extend health care benefits to emergency workers hurt during the 9/11 rescue because a few of them may have been in the US illegally at the time. Seriously. That and the Republicans said that extending healthcare would increase the deficit, since they would not consider any new taxes for the measure.

  4. felix 4

    Which of Farrar’s commenters is responsible for this? http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4571383/Hate-crime-shatters-couples-lives

    • That’s really sad to read.

      • ianmac 4.1.1

        Yes. Sickening. And presumably the rats would have premeditated and planned such attacks. I wonder what sort of rhetoric and by whom would motivate these rodents?

    • Deadly_NZ 4.2

      Jesus there are some toerags in this country,

      • Tigger 4.2.1

        Hardly suprising however. Let’s not forget we have a government composed of people who voted down every form of gay-friendly legislation that has come up before them (for example, National, ACT, United Future and the Maori Party all voted overwhelmingly against the Civil Union legislation yep, even the Maori Party and ACT, ACT!…). As gay men and women we still suffer inequality that would be unthinkable if slapped onto another minority (imagine telling Maori they can’t marry each other, or adopt children as a couple…).

        • QoT

          Some of your examples aren’t completely unthinkable – until the 1950s, of course, Maori couldn’t adopt white children. That’s not nearly long enough ago for me.

      • prism 4.2.2

        It seems that there may have to be covert groups organise from time to time keeping watch on vulnerable sites with a careful, controlled method of operation. At present these low-lifes do their dirty deeds with impunity, and there is no information so they can be tracked.

        Keeping watch from a vantage point, and having some sort of night camera to get car details to give police might be the only way that the community can trace the perpetrators. Look inside some people’s heads and you would see some foul smelling stuff there behind their eyes.

  5. ZeeBop 5

    Divide and conquer, divorce people from their government, tell them its a fight for dwindling dollars.

    When in fact dollars are printed backed by our collective wealth.

    Stop and re read that.

    Dollars are brought globally because of how valued our national wealth is!

    Now ask why the few at the top deserve a larger share of the collective wealth created by all of us?

    And then ask yourself why they don’t have to show how their bonuses are actually making us all more wealthy?

    Our wealth is shrinking rapidly as oil prices look set to rise for decades to come, and huge numbers of businesses processes and products become unaffordable to make, distribute.

    So why is our government and opposition all on the same page, same as usual???

    We have and will continue to get better and producing, but now we have to get better and consuming!
    And collective we cannot provide consent for a economic system that we are not engaged with.
    How do you tell the market that you need your food less processed, locally grown, and cheaper
    when the whole distribution system is geared to high energy shipping food from the ends of the earth?
    When the tax system and legislative mix is rigged to insure that small players are held back from
    huge compliance cost! Any large company does the compliance once, but a small employee with
    high turn over of staff, with small margins, with local limited clients, does not stand a chance!

    So our economy, like the US, and EU, are doing the splits. The big end of town is marching on
    trying vainly to deal with the problem by not dealing with it, and the real economy is coming to
    a grinding halt throwing masses into unemployment, destitution and confusion over what comes
    next. Truly we have never been more misled and more deceived! Why would anyone think that we
    can go back to the days of 24-7 consumerism of the 60s? We know better, we can do so much better?


    • Not that I have a great grasp of the 1960’s but I’m pretty sure we didn’t have 24-7 consumerism then. You know, pubs would close before dinner time, and the TV stations would send out a blank signal by midnight.

      If you wanted to buy anything in the weekend you had to make sure you went to the bank teller on Friday before 4:30pm to take money out.

      Otherwise I’m pretty much with you.

      • Carol 5.1.1

        Yes, having lived through the 60s in NZ, I can confirm 24-7 consumerism really didn’t take off til the 80s, though there was a gradual increase through the 70s. Especially in NZ in the 60s, there were import restrictions for a start.

        Consumerism took off earlier in the US, I believe, and probably in the 60s. I have a feeling that a lot of (NZ) ideas about the lives of boomers comes from US commentaries on them.

        Consumer items became available more quickly in the US after WWII. My family in NZ didn’t get a fridge or a washing machine til latish in the 60s. Ditto for a TV, black and white, one channel, limited hours. We also didn’t have more than one radio in our house until the middle of the 60s.

        My first flat in the late 60s we didn’t have a TV. My friends and I weren’t interested. We had a little “record player”… the days before easily affordable stereos. There weren’t many places to go for night life, just parties, and a couple of dance halls, and clubs … few restauarants or affordable eating places for the masses. We actually didn’t expect much in the way of consumer goods. It was more making our own fun, rather than buying it.

        International aeroplane travel for the masses didn’t really take off til the early 70s. Before that people used to travel overseas by ship.

  6. BLiP 6

    I see Sydney has been voted the the worst city in Australia by its own citizens.

    Aspects of city life in Sydney which were hammered included:



    the environemnt

    – and roading infrastructure

    . . . the delivery of which have all been driven by Public Private Partnerships.

    Despite ever mounting evidence as to real problems in relation to cost and quality of outcomes, National Ltd™, backed by its mendacious Council for Infrastructure Development, is spinning itself silly to foist PPP ideology upon the nation.

  7. UK Police Use Sex Against Environmental and Protest Groups

    Routine part of job blending in and gathering intel, apparently


  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Apparently them there sainted founders who them there tea partyin’ types like to idolise by playing dress ups with the woolly wigs and frilly undergarments…

    …were a bunch of socialist radicals trying to undermine the republic in flagrant contradiction to the will of themselves…

    …anybody seen the long from birth certificate of Messers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson? I suspect them of being Kenyan.



  9. Scott 9

    Is The Standard wrong about Sarah Palin and the Tea Party?
    Interesting ‘discussion’ with assorted Tea Party wingnuts under the post…

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