Open mike 23/03/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 23rd, 2016 - 201 comments
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201 comments on “Open mike 23/03/2016”

  1. adam 1

    This is happening

    http://nypost.com/2016/03/22/carbon-emissions-highest-theyve-been-since-dinosaurs-roamed-the-earth/

    So why, why, why has our country not done this

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/geothermal-energy-markets-heating-up-reports-bcc-research-2016-03-22

    Is it because the Muppet Tory’s can’t handle anything but one ridged ideology at at a time?

    Or is it they embrace dystopia in their collective out look?

    • Gosman 1.1

      What is stopping more geothermal electricity generation in NZ?

      • Andre 1.1.1

        I’m not close enough to the electricity industry to know for sure. But I suspect it’s because the companies that have huge sunk capital in fossil-fueled stations and don’t have to pay for their waste disposal and pollution are willing to sell power at a low enough price to make new geothermal uneconomic. Put a price on GHG emissions (ie require emitters to pay for the damage they cause) and we’ll probably see new geothermal plants built quite quickly.

      • Sabine 1.1.2

        because we have a ‘laissez faire’ governement that can’t be bothered thinking/projecting and investing in the future. And we have a business world that can’t be bothered thinking/projecting and investing in the future if they can milk the ‘present’ cow till she dies.

        In short, there is no political or economical will in NZ to switch from fossil fuel to renewables, and the current ‘oil exploration permits’ granted by the current National led Government is exhibit a.

        • Gosman 1.1.2.1

          Except energy companies are investing in renewable. They just aren’t investing much in geothermal. The question is why is that?

          • DoublePlusGood 1.1.2.1.1

            It’s more expensive than wind and hydro and the easy generation capacity has already been developed.

          • adam 1.1.2.1.2

            No one agrees with your framing of the debate Gosman.

            They know a free market model does not work, no matter how much people like yourself wish it would.

            They also know your deflections are ideological.

            Have you worked out yet, why no one bothers answering your questions – it is that they are ideologically loaded.

            Are you so imbued with ideological smugness that you yourself don’t even know?

            • Gosman 1.1.2.1.2.1

              Lots of people have responded to my question and have answered it in the way I expected. Geothermal energy generation is not as easy to develop as other renewable clean sources.

              • Ad

                In under-developed countries and central north island areas, new geothermal needs truly substantial local partnerships. Which are hard work and take years. Needs high profitability to make that commitment.

  2. Descendant Of Sssmith 2

    The big problem that occurs to me when looking at the UBI is the need for rent controls (including state housing for life)..

    Just like with accommodation supplement (or the extra money paid to those in Christchurch by both the state and the insurance companies) the first people with their hands out for that money will be landlords.

    If the money is only circulating up to the owners of property then nothing is gained.

    • weka 2.1

      Yes, and we need to view a UBI as part of a range of social solutions. Housing, rent, wages, worker rights, top ups for those not working, all need to be addressed.

      Social security.

    • BM 2.2

      This is why a UBI will never succeed.

      To make it work, NZ has to become a highly controlled socialist state.

      Very few people want that, not at the moment anyway.

      • Paul 2.2.1

        Nothing wrong with socialism.
        Nothing wrong with a society that cares.
        I love the way you speak for many people.

          • weka 2.2.1.1.1

            The Green Party vote is growing all through the years of neoliberalism.

            A UBI isn’t dependent on a highly controlled state. It’s dependent on a govt that governs for everyone not just the people that it suits.

            And it’s not like NACT aren’t an interventionist govt, they’re just intervening in teh wrong the things and in the wrong way (and incompetently a lot of the time too).

            • BM 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Wouldn’t everything have to be controlled though to keep expenses under control and in balance with the UBI?

              Power companies, councils, rent, food, all these inputs would have to be set otherwise you’ll end up with people who can’t afford to live and no where to go for help.

              • weka

                what do you mean by keep expenses under control, and what do you mean by everything?

              • Stuart Munro

                Strong economies like Germany control rent already, and other things as necessary. It is only ragged ideologues like the Gnats that allow the free market to destroy their society.

        • stigie 2.2.1.2

          Nothing wrong with socialism Paul until you run out of other peoples money !

      • Incognito 2.2.2

        The UBI will simplify the system so your comment is misguided if not disingenuous. Read the discussion paper and educate yourself and possibly even do some thinking before you post your ill-considered comments.

        • weka 2.2.2.1

          +1 A large part of the UBI conversation in the past day or so has been driven by regulars trolling who don’t understand the concepts, haven’t done their homework and/or are just posting bullshit diversionary comments. Completely disingenuous on both counts.

          • alwyn 2.2.2.1.1

            Well you can stop wasting your time talking about what the Labour Party are going to do weka.
            Listening to Morning Report today I see that Grant Robertson has been slapped down and put in his place by his leader. He might have used the code UBI but that wasn’t what he was talking about. He told Guyon Espiner that it wasn’t going to be Universal. He even said that Guyon certainly wasn’t going to get it. He then said it would be introduced slowly, like the Old Age Pension/National Superannuation.
            That took roughly 80 years to develop. Grant seemd to think that UBI would have a similar gestation period so anyone over the age of 10 can forget about it.
            He probably read a bit more of the Morgan book and learnt what it would cost and how it would have to be paid for.
            A pity Labour felt they had to give the Finance role to someone who knows absolutely nothing about the subject.
            http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201794319
            Anything you now post on the topic obviously has precisely nothing to do with what the Labour Party are thinking.
            It is a shame you are one of those who is someone who “don’t understand the concepts, haven’t done their homework and/or are just posting bullshit diversionary comments” isn’t it?

            • weka 2.2.2.1.1.1

              Yesterday you lied about what Little did on RNZ. I’ll have a listen to MR later and see if you are lying again.

              “Anything you now post on the topic obviously has precisely nothing to do with what the Labour Party are thinking.”

              So says you, according to some trumped up nonsense you’ve mangled from listening to the radio. Labour have a discussion going on about the UBI, why not take part in it? Oh that’s right, because your purpose here is simply to destroy.

              I’ve taken part in UBI conversation on the standard for years. I think I’ll let my comments be the record on that.

              “It is a shame you are one of those who is someone who “don’t understand the concepts, haven’t done their homework and/or are just posting bullshit diversionary comments” isn’t it?”

              Funny, that’s what I said about you yesterday. You really must be scraping the bottom of the troll barrell if you can’t even formulate your own critiques and instead try and troll me by repeating back my analysis of you.

              So, please cite,

              – where I don’t understand a UBI is conceptually
              – something that indicates I haven’t educated myself on the UBI
              – have posted bullshit diversionary comments in discussions about the UBI.

              • alwyn

                “Funny, that’s what I said about you yesterday”.
                You have a very defective memory. Have you already forgotten that you said it TODAY and it is in the comment that I was replying to. That is why I put it in quotes. I thought your own words described you opinions quite nicely.
                You, as usual claim that I lied about what Little said. Just how do you think that was the case, or is it merely another of your reflexive accusations when someone says something you don’t like?

                By the way, you seem to be close to the Green Party. Can someone tell Meteria Turei that the Governor General is NOT our Head of State. You would think that after nearly 14 years as an MP she would have learned something about our form of Government.

                • weka

                  I”m not close to the GP. I’m a non-active member.

                  If you want to talk about you lying about Little take it to the appropriate thread.

                  Fuck off with the gaslighting. If you can’t argue the politics what are you doing here?

                  • McFlock

                    If you can’t argue the politics what are you doing here?

                    Trying to sow alarm and dispondancy, and when that fails generally disrupt discussions.

            • Stuart Munro 2.2.2.1.1.2

              Your usual dose of malicious diversionary piffle Alwyn. Labour policy is to discuss a UBI. It’s being discussed. So what’s your problem?

              As for economic know nothings, Robertson is $120 billion up on your gibbering idiot Bill English. Expertise is defined by performance.

            • The lost sheep 2.2.2.1.1.3

              Grant defines the realistic limits of a ‘UBI’ quite sensibly IMO.

              “No Govt. is going to come in and just hand out $30b”.
              “It is a guaranteed basic income.”
              “It is a Tax credit, not a hand out”.

              On those terms, I think the idea has a lot of merit, and will be reasonably salable to the voting public.
              So call it a GBI?

              As soon as you imply that everyone will receive it, you have framed it in a way that makes a nonsense of the idea, and have rendered the UBI unsaleable.
              Clearly, we cannot afford to give it to everyone, (where does the money come from?), and so if it was ‘Universal’, at a certain level of income threshold you must have a mechanism for taking it back off those who do not need it.
              Beside which, what possible point is there to giving it to people who already have perfectly adequate or very high income?

              • alwyn

                As soon as you imply that NOT everyone will get it you cannot possibly talk about a UBI. You merely have variations on all the benefits we have at the moment. You retain all the work and cost you have now in the admin work without even the benefits of careful targeting.
                That is the worst of both worlds.

                The great advantage of a genuine UBI is the ease of paying the money out. It is like the way that National Super is done. The only thing you have to know, once you decide that someone is eligible, is that they are still alive.
                Grant seems to be having great difficulty in coming up with some way of making the scheme politically sellable. I think he may have read Morgan’s book and not understood those pesky little bits on paying for it.

                You can pay for the scheme. However you really do have to decide what amount you want to pay out, and how you propose to raise that amount of money. If it is not Universal you may as well stick to what we have.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Grant seems to be having great difficulty in coming up with some way of making the scheme politically sellable.

                  It’s sellable simply by using the word universal. Grant seems to be having the same problems as other RWNJs: Where does the money come from and why are we giving it to rich people?

                  Another words, he’s a fucken idiot.

                  • weka

                    He probably is having problems with conceiving how to pay for it, but I don’t think he said it wouldn’t be universal. Alwyn made that up.

                    • alwyn

                      Just why would he talk about a UBI, which means “Universal Basic Income”, if it isn’t going to be universal? He has to mean Universal or he is trying to con people. If isn’t universal use a different descriptor.
                      Wait. You don’t mean we have misunderstood and he is really talking about plans for a “Unified Business Identifier” do you?

                    • McFlock

                      I don’t think he said it wouldn’t be universal. Alwyn made that up.

                      is immediately followed by Alwyn saying:

                      Just why would he talk about a UBI, which means “Universal Basic Income”, if it isn’t going to be universal? [etc etc etc]

                      wow

                      So when alwyn’s outright accused of lying, they simply continue on as if the lie had been accepted without comment.

                      That’s some drumpf-level bullshit right there, Alwyn.

                    • alwyn

                      You do realise I was talking about what “The lost sheep” said and not what Robertson was saying? I was, after all, replying to that person’s comment.

                      The lost sheep said
                      “As soon as you imply that everyone will receive it, you have framed it in a way that makes a nonsense of the idea, and have rendered the UBI unsaleable.
                      Clearly, we cannot afford to give it to everyone, (where does the money come from?), and so if it was ‘Universal’, at a certain level of income threshold you must have a mechanism for taking it back off those who do not need it.”

                      Does that make it clearer?

                    • weka

                      Yep. I can’t figure out if that’s intentional mindfuckery or if he’s just stupid. I tend to think the former. It’s the same tactic he’s using on me at the moment and I’ve seen him use it on other people. I’m not sure it is quite gaslighting, but it’s close. He just keeps repeating a lie about someone with the intention of it being accepted that the person he is talking about is deficient, often mentally. That’s why I find him creepy in ways that I don’t find other RWers. He really is nasty as an online person as well as having nasty politics.

                    • alwyn

                      @weka.
                      You did read my comment at 4.59pm?
                      You don’t seem to have understood it if you did.
                      I wasn’t talking about Grant. I was talking about “the lost sheep”

                    • weka

                      You told the lie about Robertson elsewhere.

              • weka

                Good synopsis lost sheep, and I agree the framing and terms need to be chosen carefully. I like the guaranteed income bit, with emphasis on income security. We have to stop looking at this as welfare benefits too.

                “Beside which, what possible point is there to giving it to people who already have perfectly adequate or very high income?”

                Because as soon as you start doing things like income and asset testing you have to have a whole bunch of bureaucracy which takes money and causes stress and is often unfair. If the entitlement is universal you can see how it plays out at various income levels (see my comment below, someone should check my maths). I guess you could pick a different tax rate to shift the fairness in another direction.

                • The lost sheep

                  I don’t see how having a variable tax rate which takes back some or all of GBI is more or less complicated than having a variable threshold at which some or all of GBI is not paid out….
                  But I do think the idea is more saleable without the obviously empty gesture of giving it to people who you don’t actually intend to receive it and who also don’t need it.

                  But in general, I agree there are some very plausible arguments around potential efficiency gains in delivery.
                  That is, if the basic level is sufficient to meet the needs of most people receiving it? Or will it continue to be necessary to to make many adjustments to the Basic income on a case by case basis according to need above the basic level?

                  Which begs that much discussed question of what level you set the GBI//UBI at?
                  Is Labour or anyone else proposing this as a cost neutral or even cost saving measure, or does it presuppose a redistribution of wealth?

                  Quite aside from your individual moral stance on re-distribution, I would think that the voting Public is going to be highly sensitive to that particular detail, and it will turn out to be the devil in the discussion.

                  • weka

                    To clarify, I didn’t mean variable tax rates, I meant what the flat tax rate should be is up for debate and that playing with the figures might show a higher or lower rate is more fair. If Red is around we can ask him why he chose 40%. I assume affordability is part of it.

                    I agree re how it’s paid for and perceptions of that are important, although this worries me less than some because I think we should have CGTs and FTTs. I also think that once people get the idea of tax credits it gets easier. Plus frame it alongside a move back to a fairer society for *everyone, eg good solid social policy on health, education etc. Betterthat than simply here’s some more dish which feeds into the greedy selfish meme.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Clearly, we cannot afford to give it to everyone,

                So, according to that logic, we can’t actually afford to have anyone living in NZ.

                where does the money come from?

                Where the money always comes from – it’s created. Of course, we’re talking about the government creating it and not the private banks who will be banned from creating money.

                and so if it was ‘Universal’, at a certain level of income threshold you must have a mechanism for taking it back off those who do not need it.

                Yeah, we’d have these things called taxes. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? But instead of being used to raise funds for the government to spend they’d be used to take excessive money out of the economy after it’s used.

                Beside which, what possible point is there to giving it to people who already have perfectly adequate or very high income?

                Fairness. Because it’s given to everyone it’s fair. Then there’s the savings of not needing a government bureaucracy that spies upon people and abuses them solely for the purpose of taking their income away.

                • The lost sheep

                  You give me money on the basis we both clearly understand you do not intend me to have it, and are going to take it straight back?
                  How do I perceive that as ‘fair’, rather than a completely meaningless farce?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    It’s fair because everyone is treated exactly the same and no one is persecuted by needing it.

                  • McFlock

                    Because it’s not taken straight back.

                    Let’s say for simplicity’s sake that the UBI is 20k, and everything over 20k is flat taxed at 33%.

                    To give the value of the 20k “straight back”, a single individual would need to be earning three times the UBI rate plus the UBI. In this back-of-envelope illustrative example, 80k.

                    But if you were between contracts, or lost your job, or had to take unpaid leave, you’d still get that 20k every year, no paperwork, no humiliating judgement from social warfare caseworkers, no nothing. That’s your right. And that’s why it’s not a farce – your rent will always be paid.

                    • weka

                      “and everything over 20k is flat taxed at 33%.”

                      Do you mean that as a way of excluding the UBI from tax, or do you mean other income of 20K is tax free and taxed at 33% above that?

                    • The lost sheep

                      By my calculations McFlock, under the current Tax scale, someone earning 80k per annum would be netting 62.7k after tax.

                      Under your back of the envelope tax scenario they would be still earning 80k per annum plus the 20k UBI. After paying 33% tax on the 80k above the UBI (26.4k), they would net 73.6k.

                      So they’d be 10.9k better off.

                      To ‘give back’ the UBI, you would actually have to make the flat tax rate on everything above the UBI somewhat higher than the current rate.
                      Around 48% by my calculation.

                      As I say, I think you will find that a much tougher idea to sell to the voting public than the UBI being something you simply don’t get until your income drops to a certain level.

                    • McFlock

                      oh ffs,

                      my point is that no, the ubi is not “taken straight back” until the individual is earning a shitload. Not household income, individual income.

                      If the top 5 or 10% of income earners want to complain that they’re given a UBI with one hand and they pay it back in tax with the other, everyone else will ask why they have to fund an eligibility administration system simply so the very rich don’t have to pay their UBI to charity (lol, as if).

                      TLS’s “meaningless farce” suggestion only applies to the smallest minority of income earners. There are many reservations I still hold about a UBI, but tls’s bulshit isn’t one of them.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Bullshit
                      I think you’ll find my figures are accurate McFlock.

                      Let’s say for simplicity’s sake that the UBI is 20k, and everything over 20k is flat taxed at 33%.
                      Well, I’ve just had a wee play with your scenario…

                      If the top 5 or 10% of income earners want to complain that they’re given a UBI with one hand and they pay it back in tax with the other, everyone else will ask why they have to fund an eligibility administration system simply so the very rich don’t have to pay their UBI to charity (lol, as if).
                      Actually,
                      Under your scenario, someone currently earning….
                      40k – will be 13k / 27% better off.
                      100k – will be 17k / 22% better off
                      And even someone at the 1% threshold of 337k will be 21k / 9% better off!

                      It’s a giant lolly scramble!
                      And where does the money come from?
                      Draco going to print it for you?

                      Who is talking BS?

                    • McFlock

                      Sheep, you said “You give me money on the basis we both clearly understand you do not intend me to have it, and are going to take it straight back?”.

                      Now you’re admitting that no, the money isn’t given straight back, because the vast majority of individuals will be better off.

                      So you ignore your previous statement and go with the “where’s the money coming from” angle.

                      That is bullshit. Regardless of whether what you say is true or false, you’ll simpy assume another time-consuming position to keep up the pretense that you’re contributing to the discussion.

                      You’re bullshitting. Why don’t you like the UBI? Why don’t you like the idea of everybody living in dignity? Would it really be that tragic if you, as an employer, had to treat employees as knowledgeable colleagues rather than lording it over the peasantry? Stop bullshitting – why don’t you like the UBI?

                    • The lost sheep

                      A lot of blustering around in circles McFlock, but you didn’t actually answer the question.

                      You claimed that ‘5-10%’ of earners would have to give the UBI back, but in the scenario you proposed even someone on the 1% threshold would be receiving extra money.
                      In your scenario 99.8% of the population are going to receive somewhere between 40 to 5% more income.

                      If you stand by that scenario?, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask where all that extra money is going to come from?

                    • McFlock

                      But you haven’t yet acknowledged whether your first question has been addressed: “You give me money on the basis we both clearly understand you do not intend me to have it, and are going to take it straight back?”

                      The answer to that is not merely “no”, it’s “no, because the fundamental premise that the government is “going to take it straight back” would not apply to almost person in NZ.

                      So do you acknowledge that the question was a bullshit question?

                    • The lost sheep

                      I thought it was a legitimate response to Draco’s claim that giving the money and then taking it back through taxes was fair, because then everyone would be getting it.
                      But if you think it’s bullshit I’m happy to defer to your judgement.

                      Now can you answer my questions about your scenario please?

                    • McFlock

                      Well, no, it was a bullshit response, because taking an aggregate total in taxes from across the entire population does not translate into “You give me money on the basis we both clearly understand you do not intend me to have it, and are going to take it straight back”.

                      As you pointed out with your math, your statement is not true at all for the vast bulk of people.

                      But you partially answered your own question by repeating Draco’s comment:

                      […] taking it back through taxes […].

                      Other possible sources include bureaucratic savings from the system’s simpicity, FTT, CGT, and even some sort of social credit scheme if that floats your political boat.

                      Hell, one could even forget the flat tax and go progressive on the really rich fucks. Make them pay fair price for their privilege.

                      But you know all this. You’re just bullshitting. Because your reason for existence is to waste people’s time.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Oh. You were just fantasising then.
                      The structure of your comment deceived me into thinking you were making a serious contribution to the debate on a realistic UBI..

                    • McFlock

                      So you read this comment and assumed it was a complete policy proposal, rather than a simple illustration that your question “You give me money on the basis we both clearly understand you do not intend me to have it, and are going to take it straight back?” was just fucking stupid?

                      What part of “Let’s say for simplicity’s sake” did you fail to understand?

                      My contribution to serious discussion on UBI was to answer one of your questions.

                      Perhaps you should take some time to reflect upon why you should find that a clear answer to your question is so unhelpful.

                    • The lost sheep

                      What part of “Let’s say for simplicity’s sake” did you fail to understand?
                      I think it was the assumption that you meant something simple?
                      As in, when you quoted some actual figures, you intended they had some straight forward ‘meaning’?

                      Now I see that your ‘meaning’ was that 99.8% of income tax payers should get a massive increase in income, and this would be paid for by an increase in tax on the remaining 0.2% of tax payers, a Financial Transactions Tax, a Capital Gains Tax, ‘some sort of social credit scheme’, and ‘going progressive on the really rich fucks’.

                      That’s simplistic enough for this blog I reckon. As simple as the ‘zero’ which represents the chances of a UBI being introduced once The ‘simple’ ‘Sheeple’ get the ‘simple’ idea that the UBI is ‘simply’ another ‘simplistic’ Trojan Horse for the fantasies of the tiny ‘simplistic’ minority who still believe in a Marxist vision.

                      ‘Simply’, Lets revisit this discussion in a year, and see who was right eh?

                    • McFlock

                      It’s amazing how much bullshit you can string out of a perfectly straightforward answer to a perfectly simply question.

                      Just to clarify, you’re acknowledging that your scenario of “You give me money on the basis we both clearly understand you do not intend me to have it, and are going to take it straight back?” was just complete bullshit for the vast majority of people?

                      Under whatever specific proposal, if anything, comes from Labour’s thinking project it’s safe to say that for most the amount they pay in tax will not amount to the value of the UBI they receive.

                      How about, rather than revisiting this in a year, you just admit that you have no interest in resolving any issue discussed here? You’re bullshit might be transparent, but it sure as shit stinks.

                      BTW, you don’t actually know how hu-mons use the word “simply” do you?

                    • The lost sheep

                      Under whatever specific proposal, if anything, comes from Labour’s thinking project it’s safe to say that for most the amount they pay in tax will not amount to the value of the UBI they receive.

                      I just can’t reconcile that with your figures showing that 98.8% of tax payers will receive more cash in hand income?
                      Perhaps you can explain how that would work?

                    • McFlock

                      Your problem is that you are a moron.

                      You are comparing “paying the individual’s received UBI back in tax” with “overall better off compared with today’s tax rates, if you took simplified figures as written in stone rather than illustrative”.

                      If you want to know why your question “You give me money on the basis we both clearly understand you do not intend me to have it, and are going to take it straight back?” is bullshit, read the above thread.

                      If you want a more in depth plan, look at the big kahuna or whatever Labour eventually proposes.

                      frankly, I don’t think you’re inteested in either.

            • weka 2.2.2.1.1.4

              
https://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201794319

              Starting at 2:15 here’s a synopsis of what Robertson said,

              1. Labour are considering the idea, there are pros and cons

              2. Pros: simplify benefit system; enables people to adjust to changing work patterns; income security;

              3. Cons: untested (although very interesting idea)

              4. UBI is about the interaction between the income support and the tax system

              5. There are a number of different models (being tested in the Netherlands, Finland)

              6. In it’s purest form, it’s universal.

              7. But it’s about the relationship between income and tax, it’s essentially a tax credit.

              8. Espiner: it will be expensive! Robertson: we can introduce it over time (cf to Super), and it’s related to the amount of tax people pay

              9. therefore higher income earners are less likely to benefit than lower

              10. Espiner: what problem is trying to be solve here? Robertson: example is a beneficiary who wants to take on extra work. Current system is a disincentive because of the abatement process. If you guarantee people an income they are more likely to move around the workforce. Simply scrapping the abatement process is an option.

              11. We’re facing a fundamental change in the nature of work availability.

              12. Therefore we need to consider a range of options that give people income security. If work can’t do that anymore, the govt needs to consider other options.

              13. We’re a long way from implementing this

              alwyn,

              “Well you can stop wasting your time talking about what the Labour Party are going to do weka.”

              I haven’t been talking much about Labour at all other than what’s been in the report, and what we were all speculating on the other day when Little first announced.

              
“Listening to Morning Report today I see that Grant Robertson has been slapped down and put in his place by his leader.”

              That’s not in the link you give, so citation please.

              “He might have used the code UBI but that wasn’t what he was talking about.”

              Yes, he was.

              “He told Guyon Espiner that it wasn’t going to be Universal”

              No, he didn’t. He said that how much you ended up with might depend on how much tax you paid. Based on Red Logix’s model (which is based on Keith Rankin’s work) it could look like this:

              Current tax system: income of $25,000 – tax 17.5% $4375 = $20,625 cash in hand income
              UBI system: income of $25,000 – tax $10,000 = $15,000 + UBI $10,000 = $25,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 0%

              Current tax system: income of $100,000 – tax 33% $33,000 = $67,000 cash in hand income
              UBI system: income of $100,000 – tax $40,000 = $60,000 + UBI $10,000 = $70,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 30%

              Current tax system: income of $200,000 – tax 33% $66,000 = $134,000 cash in hand income
              UBI system: income of $200,000 – tax = $120,000 +UBI $10,000 = $130,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 35%

              “He even said that Guyon certainly wasn’t going to get it.”

              Lie. He said that someone like Guyon was “unlikely to be a great deal better off”. I have no idea what Espiner earns, refer to figures above.

              “He then said it would be introduced slowly, like the Old Age Pension/National Superannuation.
That took roughly 80 years to develop.Grant seemd to think that UBI would have a similar gestation period so anyone over the age of 10 can forget about it.”

              Another lie. He use Super as a general example of how you could introduce something over time. He didn’t say how long it would take, nor did he imply that it would take 80 years.

              “He probably read a bit more of the Morgan book and learnt what it would cost and how it would have to be paid for.”
              “A pity Labour felt they had to give the Finance role to someone who knows absolutely nothing about the subject.”

              Two comments of no worth coming from your own prejudices and ignorance. Robertson stated up front that there are different models to look at (and that’s what the report says too).

              
“Anything you now post on the topic obviously has precisely nothing to do with what the Labour Party are thinking.”

              Another nonsensical statement. My comments are my own thoughts unless I specifically refer to the Labour Party. All I’ve said about Labour so far is that they’re considering a UBI and they’ve released a report.

              • weka

                btw, re Epsiner getting it, the point is that it’s to guarantee a basic level of income. If Epsiner were to have a big drop in salary he would benefit more than with what he is on currently. That’s the income security aspect.

              • Nic the NZer

                The UK has had a tax free bracket for a while. Should also be looked at I think.

                • weka

                  Do you mean alongside of the UBI? So that in the example above of someone on $25,000, they would end up with $35,000?

                  • Nic the NZer

                    No its related to what GR was saying about a tax credit in how it works there.

                    • weka

                      Instead of a UBI?

                    • Nic the NZer

                      In my opinion a UBI will not achieve its promises overall. And it wont win Labour the election if its based on some kind of promise to fundamentally reform the tax system.

                      But i was just raising the tax free band to look at how that mechanism works in practice. It doesnt for example seem to be putting upward pressure on UK wages.

                • saveNZ

                  +1 Nic the NZer

                  There should be a tax free bracket.

                  The UK also had ways to encourage savers to have money in the bank with ISA,s. Essentially you could save money tax free each year in cash, shares or a combo.

                  Since many people either have absolutely no savings or use property as savings in NZ and are a month away from not being able to pay bills, it is a way to start a saving’s culture which we do not have here.

                  I’m also thinking the pros of a UBI are good. There needs to be a safety net without red tape. I think universal benefits are good. When people start to ‘means test’ everything it can take so much red tape to work out the entitlements and so forth little money is saved.

                  In the UK with the disastrous disability. They cut people off who later died but saved little or zero money from the scheme.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    I believe NZ has an ISA type scheme already actually.

                    • alwyn

                      Do you really mean a scheme like this?
                      “The account is exempt from income tax and capital gains tax on the investment returns, and no tax is payable on money withdrawn from the scheme either”.
                      Please provide details. I know of schemes that are exempt from tax on their earnings, or from tax on the withdrawals but not both.
                      The old Government Super scheme gave you the choice of one or the other, but not both.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Was thinking of an exempt on earnings only scheme. Didnt realise ISA was both actually.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Thanks for that Weka.

              • ianmac

                An excellent summary Weka. Will use it as a reference.

                I think the word has gone out to Alwyn and his ilk to rubbish UBI and try to stop it being discussed. UBI is part of a strategy to manage the Long term need to address employment problems. Current Governments have avoided the subject so if Opposition parties raise a possible solution, a Goverment is bound to attack it on any grounds with help of little helpers like Alwyn. A sort of spoilsport effect.

              • Tim

                Thanks weka +++. The silence from Alwyn is defeaning.

                • alwyn

                  “defeaning”.
                  What a wonderful word. Does it have a meaning?

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    I don’t buy that it’s untested.

                    We’ve been testing it for years now with NZS.

                    People over 65 freely choose to work or not, haven’t all suddenly turned into drug addicts or alcoholics, many have late in life turned to the arts for self-fulfillment, many work the hours they choose, may do voluntary work for charities or marae and so on.

                    If they earn they pay more tax.

                    We tested on a smaller scale for many years with family benefit. Everyone got this regardless of circumstance. We were proud of this.

                    We know these things are practical and possible.

                    • alwyn

                      “We’ve been testing it for years now with NZS.”
                      So we have. According to the 2013 census about 33% of the people in the 65-74 age group worked with 19% more than 30 hours/week
                      It drops off rapidly in older age groups. It has more than tripled since 1986. It clearly hasn’t put everyone off working has it?
                      http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/quickstats-65-plus/work-unpaid-activities.aspx
                      On the other hand there are only about 600,000 of them and the cost of NZS is about $12 billion, Even that amount was being questioned at the last election.

                      I don’t think the family benefit, even when it was at its peak in the 1950s is a relevant comparison. Most, if not all, woman stopped working when their children were young in those days if my memories are accurate. Woman, with children, who worked in the 1950s seemed to my young self to have been widows.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      The cost is only being questioned because the very people who will benefit from it the most voted continuously to pay lower taxes at the very peak of their earning capacity when they should have been contributing towards it and paying for their free education they received when younger as well.

                      See some of us aren’t questioning the cost of NZS cause it’s the wrong question. The cost is well known and eminently predictable.

                      The correct question to ask is why aren’t we taxing the right people sufficiently to pay for it.

                    • alwyn

                      @D of SS
                      I was trying, without naming them, to comment on the Labour Party policy to increase the age of entitlement.

                      From October 2013
                      “Finance spokesman David Parker said today that unless there were massive tax increases, it couldn’t be sustained in its present form.
                      Speaking on Firstline, Parker said National was “putting their heads in the sand” by refusing to raise the age of eligibility for getting superannuation. “.

                      If I mention Labour wanting to do something like this some of the commentators here will get very upset and abuse me.
                      They were the ones questioning it. I think, like you, that we can afford it.
                      Mind you I am biased. I get it. I only applied for it though after interest investment returns fell through the basement floor.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Of course NZ can afford it, jesus this isnt even a worthwhile question. But there is a compromise, we probably cant afford it and have anything but govt budget deficits.

                      Problem is that these neo-liberal Labourites priorities are buggered and they have determined whats best for the polity and are beyond listening. Never does the question arise, what harm is the deficit actually doing to the country.

                      When you examine that you find its supposed to be causing higher inflation something most govts are trying to achieve. Either thats not what it does or the deficit should be expanded then. But no this doesnt cross any of these guys tiny closed minds.

              • The lost sheep

                Hi Weka,
                Just pointing out that the calculations on current tax rates are a bit out and that’s significantly distorting the comparison with Red Logix’s model.
                http://www.ird.govt.nz/calculators/keyword/incometax/calculator-tax-rate.html

                Under the figures you quote, someone currently earning 100k would have 3k more in hand under the UBI scenario, but using correct current tax figures, they would actually have 6k less under the UBI.

                Using current tax rates, the point at which someone would be ‘breaking even’ on the UBI model you use would be 40K. Under that and they would be better off, and over it worse off.

                That sounds about ‘fair’ to me, as far as higher earners getting extra benefit, but I don’t believe 10k is anywhere near enough for a ‘basic income’!

                • weka

                  Thanks! Good catch. I just treated each income bracket as a single tax rate, but can see from the calculator it’s taxed at different rates. I’ll see if I can figure it out later.

                  “but I don’t believe 10k is anywhere near enough for a ‘basic income’!”

                  It’s not supposed to be a stand alone income.

                • weka

                  Ok, does this look better?

                  Current tax system: income of $25,000 – tax (variable tax rates) $3,395 = $21,605 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 13.5%

                  UBI system: income of $25,000 – tax $10,000 = $15,000 + UBI $10,000 = $25,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 0%
                  Difference = +$3,395/yr or +$65/wk

                  Current tax system: income of $60,000 – tax $11,020 (variable tax rates) = $48,980 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 18.3%

                  UBI system: income of $60,000 – tax $24,000 = $36,000 + UBI $10,000 = $46,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 30%
                  Difference = -$2980/yr or -$57/wk

                  Current tax system: income of $100,000 – tax $23,920 (variable tax rates) = $76,080 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 24%

                  UBI system: income of $100,000 – tax $40,000 = $60,000 + UBI $10,000 = $70,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 30%
                  Difference = -$6,080/yr or -$117/wk

                  Current tax system: income of $200,000 – tax $56,920 = $143,080 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 28.5%

                  UBI system: income of $200,000 – tax = $120,000 +UBI $10,000 = $130,000 cash in hand income. Total nett tax rate = 35%
                  Difference = -$13,080/yr or -$251/wk

                  Red’s original calculations /universal-income-revisited/

      • adam 2.2.3

        “NZ has to become a highly controlled socialist state.”

        As opposed to the highly controlled bureaucratic state we have now?

        Sheesh BM, I thought you had at least had the redeeming feature of embracing freedom.

        This system is worse than socialism, as it is the state and corporations working as idiotically as each other. The incentives not to work are massive, wages are low, and why try if you get nothing from it.

        Plus Morgan and Co. who are pushing this are not even close to being socialist – so do we add disengious to your mantel as well BM?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.4

        Very few people want that,

        National wants a highly controlled state and is putting in place lots and lots of rules to bring it about.

        Rules on single parents, rules what beneficiaries can spend their money on, rules about universal testing at schools. The list goes on and on.

        They just don’t want the social bit as they get all their wealth and jollies from putting others down.

    • Nic the NZer 2.3

      A job guarantee can resolve these issues without radical changes in society going with it.
      http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=23719

      May be a good idea to increase the minimum wage to a living wage as a complimentary policy however.

      • weka 2.3.1

        How does a job guarantee work? How does it factor in the future work issues arising from automation and recession?

        • Nic the NZer 2.3.1.1

          The link is about this topic but TLDR version is,
          * with a job guarantee the govt sets up a programme where it provides a full time at minimum wage job to anybody who applies.
          * positions may be setup into the programme either to meet community goals or via applications from the non profit sector for help. Such roles dont really become redundant due to technology.
          * during a recession the recently unemployed would be expected to shift from the main sector of the jobs market to the jg sector so fewer people are actually unemployed over this period.

          • Crashcart 2.3.1.1.1

            Can you just clarify for us what sort of low skill rolls you are talking about that can’t be automated?

            • Nic the NZer 2.3.1.1.1.1

              I dont think my own limited imagination is a particularly good source and as i said positions can be created via community engagement.

              *we have these guys on the trains who perform some kind of security function. Nobody wants to automate there jobs.
              * regular beach litter removals. Nobody wants to automate that.
              * tree planting programmes. We dont want to automate that to reduce its carbon footprint.

              Without the profit motive much of the automation pressure goes away as well here.

              • Crashcart

                I see the benefits and definitely think it is something that should be in the mix for consideration. I just worry that we go back to the days of seeing people leaning on shovels next to the motorway all day and the negative connotations that come along with that. It was one of the classic examples of why public works were considered inefficient waste.

                I also worry about how it deals with the issue of those who carry out work like raising children or caring for family members. I suppose they could be considered one of the minimum wage jobs that people are paid for.

                • Nic the NZer

                  I am pretty sure the public sector is tarnished with being inefficitent and wastefull even today (without the guys leaning to show off for it).

        • Crashcart 2.3.1.2

          The same way this mornings herald claimed that the 49% of jobs that could be lost to automation over the next 10 to 20 years will be partially off set by new jobs. Ignores the fact the last new career to be created was computer programmer back in the 1960’s. There has literally not been a new classification of job since. Everything is just a repackaging of old skills and will account for automation in only very minor terms.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.1.2.1

            The system requires that there be people with cash in hand to buy the robotic-chef burgers. I suspect they’ll find a way.

            • Crashcart 2.3.1.2.1.1

              I suspect that the ever increasing issue of unemployment and inequality shows the current thinking has no idea of what “the way” is to deal with automation.

              • BM

                The robot pays PAYE.

                • Crashcart

                  As funny as that is if we had a decent tax system it would. However not in the classic employee wages but in increased tax intake from a company having increased profits by not having to pay an employee.

                  Automation is not evil. We just need to work out how to work and economy where it becomes more abundant.

                  • BM

                    Just off the top of my head

                    You could give each robot/program a labour value.

                    Just say on robot replaces 3 people worth 50k, the robot has a salary of 150k and pays tax on that.

                    Bit of a win for every one, government still gets the same amount of tax, businesses don’t have the hassle of staff and the population then can just chill out at the beach on their 50k a year universal wage.

                    The same system w’eve currently got could be kept and the best thing about is that it’s incremental.

                    • ianmac

                      Very good BM. 🙂

                    • b waghorn

                      Can you imagine the howls of outrage if labour floated your idea of an income tax on robots,!!
                      BTW I think the idea has a lot of merit.

                    • Graeme

                      If you can handle that sort of hypothetical gymnastics the concept of a universal UBI, or negative tax bracket should be pretty self explanatory as positive for society.

                      But being the typical National supporter, you are really trying to create the most complex system that you can, with plenty of loopholes to be exploited.

                      Wouldn’t it be better to have the simplest system possible that allows society and business to evolve into the future automated environment. A casual glance over the way we responded to the changes in New Zealand’s economy in the 70’s will show that proscribed and bureaucratic solutions aren’t the way to go.

                      It’s a credit to the Labour party that they’ve looked at this, seen that it’s going to happen and are trying to have a debate about how we transition to a society and economy that is as good, and preferably better than the one we have now. And that could involve transitioning 40% of our workforce, at all levels, to an entirely new way of living.

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11610112

                      Think about that for a sec, potentially 40% going into and maybe through unemployment. What’s that going to do to your street?

                      Edit – fixed the link

                    • BM

                      I reckon my idea is better.
                      You could even make it retrospective and introduce it now, get all the businesses that have already cut jobs due to automation.

                      This is is about having a UBI, but funding it via the technology that is putting people out of work.

                      Businesses have to pay wages as it is, so paying a robot wage won’t be an issue.

                      There’s still big positives for business to automate there’s no need for osh regulations, safety equipment, holidays, sick leave etc.

                      Of course some people will try and game it, you just have annual auditing system in place to catch the ones that do.

                    • Graeme

                      Sorry, just makes me think “Supplementary Minimum Payments”

                      The solution is deal with the transition of society, not create an impediment to the transition. Your tax will just create avoidance / evasion and other stupid choices.

                      Negative tax brackets seem to be a more elegant solution if you’re going to do through the tax system.

                    • Whispering Kate

                      Have to say BM its a very creative and sort of weird concept you have brought up – my partner has just said the tax accountants would have a field day with it. I can see the logic of it in a “out of left field” sort of way. It certainly would help to pay for the UBI and employers would be better off without holiday pay, sickness leave etc that you mentioned. Maybe you should lodge a patent on it, it could possibly/impossibly be implemented in the future – you would make a fortune on the concept!

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It’s the “current thinking” of this government, in which case the only response I can offer is: “you call that thinking?”

                Also, how do you know the rise in unemployment is an entrenched phenomenon and not the predictable – and predicted* – consequence of National Party corruption and incompetence?

                *the “bonfire of right wing politics”, as Helen Clark put it.

      • Sabine 2.3.2

        the only countries that have Job Guarantees are generally speaking socialist / communist countries.
        You had a guaranteed job in East Germany, Hungary, Jugoslavia (before Milosovitch) etc etc. It might not was the job you wanted, but it was the job you did.
        You also had waiting lists for cars, houses, food, etc etc etc.

        But you had a job, and when you ran out of materials you stopped working. Very much like North Korea today.

        So to say that a UBI is socialist, but Governmental Workprogammes are not is a bit short sighted.

        Essentially, if the predictions of the worlds Kassandas come true, we will have something like an UBI as it would be easier and less costly to administer. We will also have to have social housing with rent caps and livelong tenure (unless we really want 60-80% of our population living as transients – and with an average tenanacy agreement lasting no longer than max 12 month we already have a large % of our population living as transients), and we will have to have free clinics for healthcare etc etc . If we want people to live, and participate in society.

        Or we can go with the free market who will fix it all by itself, cause magic.

        • Nic the NZer 2.3.2.1

          “British economist Paul Ormerod (quote from the Death of Economics) noted that the economies that avoided high unemployment in the 1970s maintained a:
          … sector of the economy which effectively functions as an employer of last resort, which absorbs the shocks which occur from time to time, and more generally makes employment available to the less skilled, the less qualified.
          He concluded that societies with a high degree of social cohesion (such as Austria, Japan and Norway) were willing to broaden their concept of costs and benefits of resource usage to ensure that everyone had access to paid employment opportunities.” Bill Mitchell

          Thats an interesting quote Sabine because i wasnt aware that Austria Japan and Norway were communist countries. Thanks for the history lesson.

          • sabine 2.3.2.1.1

            Ensuring access to employment is not giving a guarantee to employment.

            We all have ‘access to employment’, as the drones at WINZ would assure you, but you have no guarantee that you get a job.

            However, if you were to follow the premise that paying a UBI is socialist as in communism, than i suggest that you also look at providing a guaranteed job via the state as socialist. That was all I pointed out.

            I am also quite sure that despite providing access to employment Austria, Japan and Norway have unemployed people.

            So that access to employment is obviously not helping all people.
            While a UBI would help all people. The government then could still provide access to employment as far there still is employment.

            • Nic the NZer 2.3.2.1.1.1

              In a JG scheme (and they happen/happened in many places, including effectively if not in name in NZ in past eras) you go to WINZ and not only do they assure you access to employment, they send you on to an actual employer. Then WINZ pay your wages. That’s why its called a job guarantee, you go there and you are guaranteed getting a job (at least at the minimum wage).

              Yes, some people won’t want to work for minimum wage. They might prefer searching for better paid work for example so we should still expect to see some unemployment rates in places with such a scheme.

              I don’t really care how you want to label a JG scheme or a UBI scheme (socialist or capitalist or free market or whatever). That’s not an interesting question in any way. I am pretty sure I didn’t label either myself in any comments.

        • Nic the NZer 2.3.2.2

          I dont think a jg is a free market mechanism at all. It explicitely says that the jobs market creates insufficient jobs and goes about creating them.

        • alwyn 2.3.2.3

          The biggest one is, I believe, that in India. It is only 100 days a year and the work isn’t always available but it is a massive scheme.
          http://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/abs/10.1596/1813-9450-6003

    • Draco T Bastard 2.4

      Yep. This is why we need for all housing to be state owned with a minimal rent set as a percentage of household income..

      • weka 2.4.1

        How would the govt transfer all existing private housing to state ownership? (taking into account voters, and perceptions of fairness)

        • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1.1

          They’d buy them at present market value.

          • weka 2.4.1.1.1

            And people that didn’t want to sell?

            • Chuck 2.4.1.1.1.1

              Off to the “re education camp for new comrades” – those that don’t want to sell.

          • alwyn 2.4.1.1.2

            “They’d buy them at present market value.”
            Wow. And we think a UBI might be expensive at $30billion/year.

            “At the end of 2014 the market value of New Zealand’s housing stock stood at $768 billion or 323% of GDP”. Probably add another $100 bn by now.
            From
            http://www.cpag.org.nz/assets/Housing%20briefing%20paper%20-%20May15%20CPAG.pdf

            @weka. Surely you have seen The Godfather? We will make them an offer they can’t refuse.

            • Nic the NZer 2.4.1.1.2.1

              Well that will certainly solve the dip in spending since the GFC in NZ. Fiji holidays all round?

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 2.4.1.1.2.2

              Just wait a bit longer til the baby boomers die off and there’s loads of houses and Winston Peters won’t have any voters.

              If it’s good enough for Banks and Key to plan on that basis it’s good enough for me.

              • alwyn

                Every baby boomer I know is planning to live to 100.
                They’ll probably make it too.
                Was that really part of the conversation? I thought Winston’s lot were the generation before the baby boomers. My lot in fact. Just ahead of 1946.

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  “Every baby boomer I know is planning to live to 100.”

                  Unless of course you’re Maori or blue collar or have had a disability all your life…. In many of those cases you’d love to get even a year of NZS.

                  Was that really part of the conversation?

                  Yep. It assumes property values will stay where they are now or increase. In many places they are already decreasing as that generation starts to die off. Years of neglect in rural communities means lack of jobs, lack of hospitals, lack of all sorts of things is resulting in lower property values or an inability to sell.

                  Some large urban areas might get propped up by immigration and foreign buyers but it ain’t true everywhere.

                  • alwyn

                    When I asked “was it really part of the conversation” I was meaning the one between Key and Banks. Did they really say that Winston’s followers were dying off?

                    • Muttonbird

                      Key did, no matter how much you don’t want to believe it.

                      It is in the transcript.

                    • alwyn

                      @Muttonbird
                      Do you have a link to this transcript, or better still a link to a recording of the conversation? A recording would be best of course.

  3. Gosman 3

    A question for all those people who think if we just avoid antagonising the Muslim world (whatever that term means) then we won’t be subjected to terror attacks.

    What has Belgium been up to recently that made it a target?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      “antagonising”.

      🙄

      Meanwhile, at the Flemish Peace Institute (wherever that is).

      Please note that neither of these acts excuse or justify more killing, and also that despite the morals of the situation, violence begets violence.

    • Hi Gosman,

      What has Belgium been up to recently that made it a target?

      I suspect you haven’t thought very carefully about these matters if you ask that question.

      The most obvious response to your question would be the arrest of the suspect in the Paris bombings last November – as has already been suggested by media commentators (such as the person interviewed on Morning Report today who thought it likely that terrorist attacks had been ‘brought forward’ in response to that arrest).

      But there’s another point you’re missing. In one sense perhaps ‘we’ (in the West) are all the same to ‘them’ and, more tellingly, that perception is reinforced by several observations.

      First, Belgium is the headquarters of the EU (one of the bombs was close to the EU headquarters) and the EU has, within its union, several states who have less than glorious records of management, intervention and even rule in the Middle East.

      Second, many of the messages from other European and Western leaders have reiterated a position emphasised in similar messages of condolence in the past – that these attacks are an attack on ‘all of us’ and an attack on ‘our’ values – not just those of Belgium.

      So it seems that by targeting a ‘soft target’ like Belgium the terrorists have, indeed, hit back at those they perceive as having ‘antagonised’ them. That is, the leaders of the UK, US, France, etc. themselves seem to think that ‘they’ were as much the target as Belgium.

      Having said all of that these attacks are utterly reprehensible and unforgivable – though quite explicable and not surprising.

      • AmaKiwi 3.3.1

        P.S. Brussels is also the headquarters of NATO. That makes it even more of a target than the EU headquarters.

  4. Observer (Tokoroa) 4

    Profile of National
    .
    Yesterday John Key wanted to steal money from us – to pay for his Defamation Crime. Possibly up to NZD1,5 Million. Who knows?

    He will be visiting Mr Obama very soon. I hope he won’t attempt to steal money from him ! But again – who knows?

    Also, do you think he will keep his creepy hands away from Obama’s daughters? Anybody’s guess I expect. He harasses girls in his own suburb, with impunity.

    How gutter low the National party of NZ really is. Mismanagers; bullies; self centered; arrogant; thieves – stealing assets from the common man; secretive over incredibly stupid TPPA negotiations; flogging off NZ land and resources to foreigners (to get kick backs for national party funds); callous about jobs and workers conditions. And so on and so on …

    They say Piggy Muldoon another national politician was bad. At least he was not evil like Key and and his accomplice English.

    • Expat 4.1

      Observer (Tokoroa)

      I can’t remember a National govt that improved the lives of ordinary Kiwi’s, I know in the late 60’s they had a near zero unemployment rate, but since then they haven’t managed much better than 5 or 6% at the low end and over 10% at the high end.
      You probably remember the Shipley govt, took $20 off every pensioner to give the wealthiest a tax break, more older NZ’ers left for Aussie than ever before.

      In five decades of observation of NZ govts, the Clark govt delivered the greatest benefits to this country that I’ve ever seen, nearly everyone had a job, and when I said everyone, that included the spouse, the redistribution of wealth to the lower incomes through tax benefits (working for families), investment in infrastructure, rebuilt the local Hospital where I live after the Nats threatened to close it and increased the capacity of all the schools by adding additional class rooms, and now all we hear is that Labour destroyed the country, most can’t remember that far back to be able to compare too today.

      The media has done it’s best to undermine Labour, and the weak minded have “bought” the BS, hook line and sinker, the reality is that I’m one of the over 200k Kiwi’s that left NZ since 2011 for a “Brighter future”, and would like to return, but I just can’t stomach Key, and until I see Kiwi’s waking up to the BS being fed to them, I don’t see any improvement in NZ.

      The first time I saw Key on TV, I new he couldn’t be trusted, that was in 2006, ten years ago, and guess what, he’s proven over and over again exactly that.

      So, come on Labour and come on Andrew Little, honesty IS a virtue.

  5. s y d 5

    Fonterra is broken….in a supposed co-operative model the shareholders are making big profits, but the suppliers aren’t.

    Which doesn’t make any sense, unless there are shareholders who aren’t suppliers, then it’s a big win….ohh hang on

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/78179286/fonterra-halfyear-profit-soars-muchneeded-good-news-for-farmers.html

    https://www.nzx.com/markets/NZZX

    • Gosman 5.1

      Ummm…. the suppliers generally are the shareholders.

      • s y d 5.1.1

        they generally were at the start of the co-op model, right up until trading in shares was opened up to allow ‘capital raising’, hence the NZX funds trading in shares……so now you have suppliers, who have given over the rights to the share income (but not ownership of shares per se) who are having payments cut at the same as record profits are being made and paid out as divedends…

        • Hammerman 5.1.1.1

          Market capitalisation of farmers shares = 9.476 billion
          Market capitalisation of non farmer units = 556 million

          So only 5.5% of Fonterra is owned by non-farmers. Conversely 95% of the profit will therefore be paid to the farmers.

          The reference to the NZX trading for Fonterra shares is a red herring. It’s a closed market managed by NZX. Only farmers have access to it.

        • Gosman 5.1.1.2

          I’d suggest they are very much in the minority. On Morning report this morning on the radio a news item suggested the vast majority of shareholders who will receive the benefit are farmers.

          • Puddleglum 5.1.1.2.1

            Possibly, although the crucial statistic is not how many of the shareholders are farmers but ‘how many of the farmers producing the milk are shareholders?’

            At the extreme, it is theoretically possible that all shares are owned by one farmer; hence all shareholders would be farmers but all but one of the farmers producing the milk would not be shareholders.

            I don’t know the answer to what would be the ‘correct’ question to settle this point.

            Do you?

      • b waghorn 5.1.2

        Most lower order sharmilkers won’t own shares so they will suffer the most.

      • Graeme 5.1.3

        The term “supplier” has also been used to describe contractors of late as well, which is muddying the water as well. Don’t know if it’s a deliberate distraction, or by whom, but very poor communication by Fontera for allowing it to happen.

  6. ianmac 6

    For those who have an interest in the strange happenings at Rangiora High School, the Listener has a detailed post. Did the Ministry go through all this to get their hands on the millions held by the 100 year old investment Held by Rangiora High? How can they do all this to a successful school, lead by an industrious hard working Principal.
    “For Peggy Burrows, that pathway has been cut abruptly short. With lawyer Richard ­Harrison (who represented Christchurch Girls’ High School principal Prue Taylor when she was sacked in 2012), Burrows will challenge her dismissal.”
    http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/education/school-daze/

  7. alwyn 7

    Now I have discovered what is wrong with New Zealand.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/78156665/lawyer-numbers-soars-as-the-law-become-more-complex-and-numerous
    No wonder we have become ever more litigious.
    Does anyone else remember the Tom Paxton album “One Million Lawyers and Other Disasters”? On a per capita basis that is about where New Zealand has got to.

    • Gangnam Style 7.1

      And imagine the legion of lawyers needed to thrash out TPPA disputes! Ker-ching!

      • alwyn 7.1.1

        Well, some people commenting on this site seem to be proposing that the Government should be guaranteeing everyone a job. Those commenters would applaud your theory.

        • Nic the NZer 7.1.1.1

          Last time i checked being a Lawyer still required a qual. Did the TPPA remove that for their disputes process? Quite happy for joe blogs kiwi to arbitrate on TPPA disputes actually for a job. Dont think Disney has that in mind however.

  8. Tom 8

    I really don’t understand where the Labour party is going ? Is it $200 that’s enough to live on, I am not sure pensioners agree, Is it the living wage or do they have a plan to guarantee everyone a job and pay them living wage plus a Universal income ? Can someone enlighten this pensioner with a vote, please!

    • alwyn 8.1

      “Can someone enlighten this pensioner”.
      I don’t think anyone can help you at the moment. Robertson, who seems to trying to be the proud daddy, seems to give a different story every time he talks about it.

      I think he is hurriedly trying to read and understand what Morgan’s book said but it seems to be a bit too hard for him. He then seems to be trying to amend the details on the fly if someone points out politically impossible bits.
      If they did what Morgan advocates, and you own your own home, you are going to be bitten on the bum. Only my opinion of course
      Come back in about 2018.

      • Nic the NZer 8.1.1

        Do you believe Morgans book position is reasonable? It seems to be saying there need to be some one off modifications to taxation etc… which will then modify prices so some imbalances an inequities are corrected and then stuff will be sorted out from then on because all that stuff was sorted to begin with.

        This kind of thinking reminds me of the prognosis for the EU where about a decade ago consensus was no country really needed to run a 3% or higher deficit (until they did). It seems a very static view of the economy to begin with.

      • weka 8.1.2

        “I don’t think anyone can help you at the moment. Robertson, who seems to trying to be the proud daddy, seems to give a different story every time he talks about it.”

        Citation needed. Link or it didn’t happen. We already know you are a liar so I’m happy to add this to the list if you can’t back up your statement.

    • Craig H 8.2

      Labour is still collecting and collating data and feedback, so no policies have been agreed yet.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 8.2.1

        Oh god not another year of the manifesto.

        Oh for some actual coherent policies consistent with socialist principles from Labour. The last link is interesting because there was supposed to be an attempt to have the members of the Standard influence policy. We were asked for suggestions even.

        Can’t see many of those suggestions anywhere near Labour’s policies.

        (Also reminded me how much I miss Xtasy’s contributions).

        Robertson / Labour on the future of work

        Does the left win by tacking to the centre or by being principled?

        The year of the manifesto, which turned into the year of keeping your powder dry, which turned into the year of mainly neo-liberal policy, which turned into the year of losing my vote, which turned into the year of losing the election was just bonkers.

        Labour. Horse. Water.

        Well there’s little evidence that Labour is pushing the needs of beneficiaries and workers. 2012 was the year of the manifesto. 2013 was supposed to be the year of the policy.

        Open mike 01/01/2014

        But, as our own Labour grandee Mike Smith has pointed out, 2013 is also the year Labour develops its policies

        I think that’s where The Standard could be of some use in that it offers a platform for members to suggest and test policy at a national level any time they want.

        2013 – the policy year

    • weka 8.3

      Tom, a UBI is meant to ensure that everyone has a basic income and doesn’t starve etc. It’s not become replacement, it’s a system of income security that is more fair and efficient than what we have now. Don’t get too caught up on the $200 thing. For one, there are lots of different UBI models and it depends on what other ways people have of getting income. Labour are focussed on workers and the disappearance of a regular 40hr/wk jobs and a high need for flexibility. They’re not saying everyone can live on $200/wk, they’re saying its a stop gap for people that didn’t earn this week. People who don’t do paid work (retirees, I’ll and disabled people, solo parents etc) will need to be taken into account too.

      Have a look at the figures in my comment up thread and you can see how it might work via tax. Yes it’s different than the living wage and job creation both of which Labour also intend to do.

      You can basically ignore everything alwyn is saying as he is lying about Labour and trolling the site to derail the conversation.

  9. adam 9

    Bazaar politics, exposed.

  10. Ovid 10

    Labour’s discussion document (pdf) outlining 10 big ideas from the Future of Work Commission.

  11. Muttonbird 11

    How odd. The prime minister wades in to criticise a private company’s operating affairs.

    When Andrew Little says as much the RWNJs have a cow about it.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/78179286/fonterra-halfyear-profit-soars-muchneeded-good-news-for-farmers

  12. Muttonbird 12

    Flag day tomorrow. Drum roll please…

    • Tim 12.1

      What way do you think it will go? I’m a bit worried low turnout amongst the young will make it closer than people thing. I may spiral into depression if we really change our flag to that childish design.

      • Andre 12.1.1

        Returns are already higher than the first referendum with today and tomorrows still to come in.

        http://www.elections.org.nz/events/referendums-new-zealand-flag-0/voting-second-referendum/voting-statistics

        • weka 12.1.1.1

          Some big variations by day, which is odd. I wonder if that’s to do with NZPost or processing rather than when people voted.

      • Muttonbird 12.1.2

        Polls suggest on average a 60% to 40% preference for the New Zealand flag. Something remarkable would have to happen for the challenger to win on the basis of that polling.

        My initial thought is the very young (non-voting age) are very supportive of the New Zealand flag as are young adults in general. I imagine if young adults took the time to participate in surveys to register their support for the flag of New Zeland then they would take the time to vote. Perhaps this sector is the one which has lifted the turnout in the second referendum?

        If so then John Key’s cheap looking tea towel will not stand a chance.

        • dv 12.1.2.1

          Interestingly Key doesn’t think hi legacy will be damaged if he looses.
          My immediate thought was what legacy?

          • Muttonbird 12.1.2.1.1

            Farrar’s phone monkeys will be asking the question as we speak.

            • Muttonbird 12.1.2.1.2.1

              It’s a shame that belatedly addressing roading infrastructure could be viewed by RWNJs as a legacy of John Key. Particularly with respect to the open tap immigration policy adopted by his government.

              The first one on that list hasn’t even been started yet, ffs.

            • maui 12.1.2.1.2.2

              Haha, what an unbelievably shit legacy. That’s even before the next generation find they can’t afford the fuel price to use the RONS or there simply isn’t enough oil to go around anymore. Communities like Kapiti end up with a unused aqueduct type structure and they’ll be wanting to tear it down.

              • BM

                Better than selling the country down the river with bull shit election bribes like WFF and interest free loans.

                Self serving Fuckwits.

                • weka

                  RONS in the age of climate change and post-carbon. Yep, fitting legacy for the short-sighted greedy one.

                  • BM

                    Contrary to what the doomer cult you belong to says, people are going to be using cars for the foreseeable future.

                    New Zealanders will thank Key in years to come for building this fantastic roading network and not listening to the climate change, end of the world crowd.

                    I expect to see many statues of Key to be commissioned in the coming decades.

                • Muttonbird

                  Self serving? It’s the middle class right which has made hay from WFF and their kids from interest free loans.

            • Halfcrown 12.1.2.1.2.3

              RONS

              https://www.nzta.govt.nz/roads-and-rail/state-highway-projects/roads-of-national-significance-rons/

              “That will be Keys legacy, flag’s just a minor sideline.”

              Yeah and what a waste of money that lot is. Like the Hamilton bypass, 17 bridges in a 22 km section costing just under a Billion dollars at this stage. Money that could be spent on better things like a fast modern wide track commuter service to Auckland with trains travelling at 200Km an hour..
              It has been claimed that with the new Waikato Freeway it will cut 25 minutes off the journey. One billion dollars divided by 25 minutes give us 40000 dollars a minute just to join the fucking big traffic jam on the southern motorway that is STILL going to take you up to ONE hour to get into central Auckland,

              • Muttonbird

                According to Gary Numan, the song’s lyrics were inspired by an incident of road rage: “I was in traffic in London once and had a problem with some people in front. They tried to beat me up and get me out of the car. I locked the doors and eventually drove up on the pavement and got away from them. It’s kind of to do with that. It explains how you can feel safe inside a car in the modern world… When you’re in it, your whole mentality is different… It’s like your own little personal empire with four wheels on it”.

                -Gary Numan

                This explains the RWNJs’ approach to transport. They believe that to take your own personal fiefdom with you wherever you go is the way of the future.

            • Incognito 12.1.2.1.2.4

              Key’s legacy will be available as The Best of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Vols. 1 & 2. If you order online from the US you won’t have to pay GST 😉

              I’ve heard there’s a bonus clip called UFO in Waitangi; soundtrack courtesy of Eminem CC PL 2.0 (Creative Commons licence Pretty Legal generic).

  13. rod 13

    I think the flag result could be very close. I dont trust these right wing pollsters.

    • Muttonbird 13.1

      It will be close, but evidence so far is that the challenger is playing catch up.

      There is a huge amount of support for the New Zealand flag despite what John Key says anecdotally.

      After all, when he’s discussing the subject face to face with someone, that person is likely a grovelling yes-man who will say what the prime minister wants to hear.

  14. Phineas 14

    Interesting how the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has had a silver fern in its logo since 2012.

    Key really really digs that fern he was just biding his time feeding the chickens.

  15. Expat 15

    Well, their going to the polls on June 7, Aussie Fed Election, Turnbull has just restored the “Clean Energy Finance Corp” that Abbott tried to shut down, as an election sweetener, but the experts say, too little, too late.

    Their will likely be a double disillusion, as the senate has refused to pass the govts policies.

    And Tony (Abbott) is being as disruptive as he possibly can be, makes for some interesting politics over the next few months.

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  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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