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Open mike 25/10/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 25th, 2015 - 100 comments
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100 comments on “Open mike 25/10/2015 ”

  1. Tony Veitch 1

    All Blacks win a very tough semi-final.

    More importantly, Shonkey in the audience basking in the reflected glory!

    It’s so important that New Zealand can play such a meaningful role on the world stage!

    Well worth the taxpayers dollars it cost to send him there!

  2. ropata 2

    Great image here. Sport helps our international relations and our self image, along with lots of other positives (outlined by Ad earlier in the week).

    This picture, credit of Getty Images, tells a great story of the battle of Twickenham. #sportsmanship #RWC2015 pic.twitter.com/pBcDJhiwEY— South African Rugby (@Springboks) October 24, 2015

    • Once was Tim 2.1

      very true, as long as it doesn’t become the ONLY thing that defines the nation. And as long as all the hype and commercialisation that goes with it doesn’t put unreasonable expectations on a generation coming through (as one of the commenters in your link refers to – its longevity will depend on grass roots participation)
      Dairy, cow shit, unsawn logs and rugby just aren’t going to get us through it – but …. well done All Blacks (I’d say that though even if they’d lost)

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    @Lprent: a couple of times this morning loading The Standard has linked me to a Telecom HG630b Home Gateway login page.

    That ain’t my router.

  4. Morrissey 4

    Col. Richard Kemp calls it “the most moral army the world has ever known.”
    So why do thousands of young Israelis refuse to serve in the IDF?

    Saturday 24 October 2015

    In his pisspoor book Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, former U.S. president Bill Clinton tells what, even for him, is a breathtakingly cynical lie: he claims that an unarmed seventeen-year-old Palestinian peace activist, Asel Asleh, who was murdered by Israeli soldiers in 2000, was “caught in a crossfire and killed”. [1]

    Asel Asleh was murdered fifteen years ago, but nothing has changed. Palestinians are still being harassed, humiliated, raped, shot, stabbed, crushed and killed by gangs of illegal “settlers” and by the soldiers of the Israeli Defence Force, which is, scandalously, infested by extreme hardline “settlers”. And there is a never-ending supply line of Bill Clintons justifying every illegal arrest, every kick, punch, knifing and shooting.

    By Palestinian standards, Ansar Aasi is lucky: he is still alive, he can still walk, and—thanks to the fortuitous filming of his assault—he has been released, after three days of illegal and unwarranted detention. This is how the brave soldiers of the Israeli “Defence” Force—labeled by former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Richard Kemp, as “the most moral army the world has ever known” [2]—dealt with the grave and imminent threat represented by Ansar Aasi….

    Without fail, politicians like Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton wag their fingers at people like Ansar Aasi and express sympathy with the thugs who beat him up. Moral giants like Anthony Weiner scoffingly label them “little Palestinian terrorists”. Comedians like Sacha Baron Cohen and Jerry Seinfeld taunt, slander and ridicule people like Ansar Aasi and even, in the case of Baron Cohen’s Bruno movie, cast them as unwitting stooges in their “satires”.

    But there are decent young people in Israel who—-unlike Obama, Biden, the Clintons, Weiner, Baron Cohen and Seinfeld—object to this. They’re called, contemptuously by the Israeli extreme right, “refuseniks”….


    [1] Bill Clinton Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World (Hutchinson, 2007), page 91

    [2] http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=24780

    • savenz 4.1

      +1 –
      Rachel Aliene – deliberately run over by a bulldozer by Israeli military.

      Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American peace activist and diarist.[1][2] She was killed by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) armored bulldozer in a combat zone in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, under contested circumstances[2][3] during the height of the second Palestinian intifada.[4]

      She had come to Gaza as part of her senior-year college assignment to connect her home town with Rafah in a sister cities project.[5] While there, she had engaged with other International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activists in efforts to prevent the Israeli army’s demolition of Palestinian houses.[2][6][7]

      Less than two months after her arrival,[5] on March 16, 2003, Corrie was killed during an Israeli military operation after a three-hour confrontation between Israeli soldiers operating two bulldozers and eight ISM activists.[3][8]

      Fellow ISM protestors saying that the Israeli soldier operating the bulldozer deliberately ran over Corrie, and Israeli eyewitnesses saying that it was an accident since the bulldozer operator could not see her.[9][10][11][12]

      In 2005 Corrie’s parents filed a civil lawsuit against the state of Israel. The lawsuit charged Israel with not conducting a full and credible investigation into the case and with responsibility for her death,[13] contending that she had either been intentionally killed or that the soldiers had acted with reckless neglect.[3] They sued for a symbolic one US dollar in damages.

      In August 2012, an Israeli court rejected their suit[3] and upheld the results of the 2003 military investigation, ruling that the Israeli government was not responsible for Corrie’s death. The ruling was met with some criticism.[14][15][16]

      An appeal against the August 2012 ruling was heard on May 21, 2014. On February 14, 2015, Israel’s supreme court rejected the appeal.[17]

      Now lets imagine if a US peace activist was deliberately run over by a Palestinian Bulldozer what the different international response would be?

    • Reddelusion 4.2

      Enjoy the rugby

  5. Tautoko Mangō Mata 5

    TPP update
    1. Globe and Mail: TPP’s copyright chapter will cost Canadians hundreds of millions

    Canada’s rock-ribbed bastion of pro-trade, pro-Tory ideology has come out against the Trans Pacific Partnership’s Intellectual Property chapter in a leading editorial signed by the paper’s editorial board.

    The paper calls out the government for caving to the US entertainment industry on copyright issues, particularly copyright terms, saying that they have no place in trade agreements, that their extension will not provide benefit to Canadians, and will cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars. https://boingboing.net/2015/10/24/globe-and-mail-tpps-copyrig.html

    2. Good quick twitter summary of TPP and the internet.

    3.Doggett Warns TPP Text Work Could Water Down Deal; Rebuts USTR Sales Pitch
    Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) on Friday (Oct. 23) warned that delays in releasing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text could signal an effort by negotiators to water down the agreement announced on Oct. 5, and he also rebutted key Obama administration selling points regarding the deal’s environmental and tariff-cutting benefits. http://insidetrade.com/

    !!!!!!!Pencil in 14 November for Protest Marches against TPP_ The Dead Rat Deal.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Two important articles about Inequality.

    The first, why the majority of NZers agree that inequality is a problem, but why they don’t vote for political parties that would actually do anything about it:

    last year I convened a series of focus groups, comprised of members of the public holding a wide range of opinions. How would people explain and defend their opinions in the presence of divergent views? In keeping with survey results, most focus group participants – when asked individually – expressed a preference for a more equal distribution of incomes (better wages for the low-paid; restraint in executive compensation). In the subsequent group discussion, however, these preferences were marginalised by the view that, while a more equal distribution might sound nice, it was likely not feasible given the “realities of the market”.

    What was most interesting here was that while this “market reality” trope was typically advanced by only one person in each group, it seemed able to over-ride a majority preference for greater equality. Even those participants with very strongly-held egalitarian commitments found it difficult to argue against this appeal to the constraining power of market forces.


    Huffington Post has a story about the life and death of an Amazon ‘temporary’ warehouse worker:

    That meant Jeff wore white. He’d started working at the warehouse in November 2012, not long after it opened. It was the first job he’d been able to find in months, ever since he’d been laid off from his last steady gig at a building supply store. By January, peak season had come and gone, and hundreds of Jeff’s fellow temps had been let go. But he was still there, two months after he’d started, wearing his white badge. What he wanted was to earn a blue one.

    Less than an hour later, a worker found Jeff on the third floor. He had collapsed and was lying unconscious in aisle A-215, beneath shelves stocked with Tupperware and heating pads.


    • Muttonbird 6.1

      Even those participants with very strongly-held egalitarian commitments found it difficult to argue against this appeal to the constraining power of market forces.

      Egalitarian people need to be given the tools to be able to argue against automatic market ideology. In the new world of sound-bites and Twitter length discussion, those tools need to be as short and inarguable as phrases like “market reality”. I think it is the opposition who must do this.

      The man who uses these market force phrases most, Blinglish, has said this week they need to “get the market right” which screams anything but a free market to me.

      I think he has realised he has screwed up and is having to intervene.

      • vto 6.1.1

        The “market” is simply a construct of rules and regulations that leads to a certain wealth distribution.

        To attain a different, more equal, wealth distribution then quite simply the current rules and regulations need changing.

        Such rules and regulations include tax rates, tax policies (eg cgt), provision of health, education, minimum wage rates, living wage rates, the list goes on and on.

        Tweak and adjust each one until the required settings are attained. The current settings have led to the current inequality.

        • Draco T Bastard


          That’s it exactly. The market is a construct of politics and behaves as the politicians have designed it to behave. If we have massive inequality and poverty that’s because the politicians have designed those things in to our society through the rules and regulations that they’ve put in place.

          We can change these setting and thus change the outcome.

          • aerobubble

            So to keep the present status quo I’d be best served by someone whose ideology was one that disregards any discussion of regulation, I.e a neolib who wants to get rid of them and so out of fear we’d all rather not change less we lose even the regulations we have. Aka Jamie Whyte, who in the contortion of reason supports the sugar subsides all because nobody will dare discuss them and their impact on global obesity and dental crisis, and so status quo means big govt intervention supported by Whyte by omission.

        • Muttonbird

          Yes, I understand that but the point I was trying to make is that the egalitarian participants in the focus group example above found it difficult to articulate that in the face of the flat right-wing mantra, “market reality”.

          Why do we, the socially conscious left, not have equivalent short, powerful, and universally accepted memes with which to fight the idea that the market will decide everything?

          • Madeleine

            Look in ‘reality’ when you have family you help each other out – simple. It’s got nothing to do with power, at the end of the day.

            If I wanted you deflated and powerless I would leave you to rot. Sometimes it’s nice just to help and accept help- there’s nothing wrong with that.

            The power is actually in your hands -really?

            • Draco T Bastard

              Look in ‘reality’ when you have family you help each other out – simple. It’s got nothing to do with power, at the end of the day.

              It’s got everything to do with power. Poor people can’t help themselves never mind their family – they simply don’t have the power to do so.

              The rich, on the other hand, can buy MPs at Cabinet Clubs and get regulation and legislation tailored to them as we’ve seen with SkyCity, Warner Bros, Rio Tinto and other corporations that this government is heavily subsidising from the incomes of the poor.

            • tracey

              more families than you appear to account for actually are constructed and operate around power and its abuse.

          • RedBaronCV

            Market reality today is where a single strong interest of one or few individuals overrides an even stronger interest that is held by a much larger group.

            Collective , democratic and governmental groups represent the collective interest of the many.

            (Think factory spewing health destroying smoke V. clean air rules )

            In two words – Erin Brockovich is the fight back

          • RedBaronCV

            Or maybe “Victorian sweatshops”

          • Grindlebottom

            Why do we, the socially conscious left, not have equivalent short, powerful, and universally accepted memes with which to fight the idea that the market will decide everything?

            I think you make a very good point here muttonbird.

      • weka 6.1.2

        How abour Fair Trade concepts?

        • Madeleine

          You already know the answer to these questions.

          • Brigid

            But do you?

            • Madeleine

              I wouldn’t live this life, if it were not for love, the want to help, and the decency of wanting to help a relative. Why belittle myself to the size of a pip on purpose for the hell of it? There is a point to every exercise- always.
              I am fair, understanding and kind. I know myself inside out. I have made huge sacrifices to be here, I have battle wounds, scars, emotionally and physically – I am drained, tired, fu8ked off, frustrated, hurt, angry and fed-up. But I don’t give up; I get up, over and over and over and over again. If ‘I’ keep trying then- you must try yourself, ESPECIALLY considering the outcome is 100% in our favour.

          • weka

            Yes, and I also know how to have a productive conversation. Fuck off trole.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Eurozone crosses Rubicon as Portugal’s anti-euro Left banned from power

    Portugal has entered dangerous political waters. For the first time since the creation of Europe’s monetary union, a member state has taken the explicit step of forbidding eurosceptic parties from taking office on the grounds of national interest.

    Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament and won a mandate to smash the austerity regime bequeathed by the EU-IMF Troika.

    So much for democracy in Europe.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 7.1

      You bet me to it. The most disturbing story of the day.

      • Rodel 7.1.1

        And raises a serious question- why have a head of state if they can over-rule democratic choice?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Technically our head of state, the Queen, can still overrule our democratic choices.

          • Grindlebottom

            Fortunately there is an historical reason for her not to do so in case it doesn’t work out so well.

    • Once was Tim 7.2

      Anibal must be really confident (or just stupid) that state force will be able to quell the masses forever. Or he might just be one of those people who has confidence in their own bolt hole, and that they can take it all with them in the next life. When he/she drives, it probably never occurs to him/her to look in the rear vision mirror once in a while.
      I’m wondering where the ‘hard right’ think they’re going to find exile in 20 years time – somewhere in the Islamic State or Israel maybe?

      • weka 7.2.1

        New Zealand. Hard to see the masses uprising here.

        • Once was Tim

          Dreams are free, but Spain …. Portugal ….. most of South America, India, most of the African continent …. and whatever is left ….

    • Gabby 7.3

      Hold on. In Portugal the highest-polling party gets first crack at governing, and coalitions/alliances are declared before the election, right?

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    And this one is a must read as well. David Graeber at his best:

    True, for much of the nineteenth century, the United States was largely an economy of small family firms and high finance—much like Britain’s at the time. But America’s advent as a power on the world stage at the end of the century corresponded to the rise of a distinctly American form: corporate—bureaucratic—capitalism. As Giovanni Arrighi pointed out, an analogous corporate model was emerging at the same time in Germany, and the two countries—the United States and Germany—ended up spending most of the first half of the next century battling over which would take over from the declining British empire and establish its own vision for a global economic and political order. We all know who won. Arrighi makes another interesting point here. Unlike the British Empire, which had taken its free market rhetoric seriously, eliminating its own protective tariffs with the famous Anti–Corn Law Bill of 1846, neither the German or American regimes had ever been especially interested in free trade. The Americans in particular were much more concerned with creating structures of international administration. The very first thing the United States did, on officially taking over the reins from Great Britain after World War II, was to set up the world’s first genuinely planetary bureaucratic institutions in the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions—the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and GATT, later to become the WTO. The British Empire had never attempted anything like this. They either conquered other nations, or traded with them. The Americans attempted to administer everything and everyone.

    I do suggest downloading and reading the PDF linked here.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    FVEY vs Kim Dotcom

    Here is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth: The Five Eyes are after Kim Dotcom and the litigation against him is effectively a circus performance for media and the public because in private, the system has already been meting out his extra-judicial punishment for years.

    For all intents and purposes, whether it’s because they’ve gone rogue or are off the leash or whether it is just unofficial deep state policy; New Zealand intelligence agencies have been acting “arguably at the behest of a foreign power” according to Bryce Edwards. Including against their own countrymen.

    That used to be called treason. Now it is called international co-operation and is self-justified by a secret treaty that was hidden from the public for 60 years: known only as the UK/USA Agreement. According to this link detailing the complex history of the agreement, which instituted and eventually encompassed the Five Eyes, the full text only became available in 2010 – some 64 years after its genesis.

    We need to take our democracy back off of the bureaucrats.

    • Poission 9.1

      We need to take our democracy back off of the bureaucrats.

      In Vladimir Arnold reminiscence of Rokhlin,he discussed the latter’s vision for the future.

      I recall another conversation with Vladimir Abramovich, the subject of which
      he would return to again and again – his vision of the future of humanity. According to him, humanity is moving towards bureaucratization where an all-powerful bureaucratic apparatus will be suppressing everything alive and creative that still exists. According to him, this phenomenon is not exclusive to Russia, it is global, although this is an uneven process. Rokhlin thought that this process would be soon completed (in view of the fact that two-dimensional sphere is compact), and the Global Government will be created, which will realize the worst predictions of Zamyatin’s “We” and Huxley’s “Brave New World” on the global scale. Degenerating humanity lead by their worst representatives will democratically establish ochlocratic dictatorship, which will be suppressing everything out of the ordinary and will be mainly preoccupied with stopping progress, and, as a result, destruction of education and science (by means of dumbing down children from a very young age by watching TV, playing video and computer games).

      Our times, the golden age of mathematics and science in general will then
      be considered an unprecedented highest point, the way we now think of Italian
      Renaissance Art, and Klein’s “Lectures on Development of Mathematics in the
      Nineteenth Century” will read as Vasari’s “The Lives of the Artists”.
      “I am glad I will not live to see that”, concluded Rokhlin.
      It is difficult to debate such predictions, however I would like to cite a similar
      prediction by Leo Tolstoy that has not quite become a reality. “The strength of
      the government lies in the people’s ignorance, and government knows this, and will, therefore, always oppose true enlightenment”


  10. Paul 10

    Do you need any more reasons to go on the people’s climate march on Saturday 28 November?
    Our glaciers have shrunk by one third.


  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Rational Voting In An Irrational System

    The result is that currently we have a situation where 2 political parties in New Zealand that together represent less than 1% of the electorate wield enormous power in parliament.

    That clearly isn’t right or just – but it is legal.

    So what is the rational response to such an irrational situation?

    Well, you could try to take the moral high ground and say “because others are manipulating the system I won’t”. But that just leaves you powerless because the manipulators will win time and again – as we have been seeing.

    The alternative is to say – “Well, the history of politics is the history of doing deals. If that’s how the game is currently being played then we must use the rules to work for us. And when we are in power we will change the rules so the they are not so easy to manipulate.”

    That is a lesson that the Left in NZ seem to want to refuse to learn. It’s why we still have a National led government instead of Hone and Laila in parliament supporting a DC led Labour/Greens/IPMana government.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      To suggest that NZFirst would have gone with that unstable hydra at the 2014 election is pretty dubious.

      Instead we’d right now have an NZFirst – National government. Probably better than what we have now, but still not what we need, and clearly primes the stage for a NZFirst – National coalition in 2017 as well.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        IMO, NZFirst would have gone for Labour/Greens/NZFirst coalition with IPMana on the cross benches. After National’s attack in 2008 I doubt that NZFirst will be considering propping up a National government for the foreseeable future.

        • b waghorn

          If either key or Winston weren’t the leader of there party would you still think a coalition was unlikely?

          • Draco T Bastard

            ATM, yes. Today’s National is a long way away from what it was in the 1970s which seems to be where NZFirst seem to be positioning themselves.

        • Lanthanide

          Winston’s a pragmatist. He didn’t got with Labour in 1996 because Helen wasn’t speaking to Jim, and he didn’t think that would work for a government.

          The coalition you’re suggesting would be made up from a notoriously divided Labour party, an untested Green party and supported by a crazy german that the public hate. Up against John Key.

  12. mary_a 12

    Creepiness to the extreme. Parliament goes into recess so FJK can continue to stalk Richie McCaw (and the boys)!

    Bet there are also a few other NatzKEY politicians over in the UK as well sharing the fun. Sod the country. More important to have a beer with the boys and to be seen doing so! FFS!


    • alwyn 12.1

      Don’t worry.
      Andrew Little will soon be there. Once he arrives the All Blacks will really be terrified and will be hiding away to keep out of the reach of feral politicians.
      Just what are the polie’s excuses anyway?

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Universal Basic Income Will Likely Increase Social Cohesion

    I think we should avoid letting our ideologies inform our opinions on matters of social and economic policy. What matters is scientifically observed evidence. I support the idea of providing everyone with an unconditional basic income not because I just think it’s the right thing to do, and the best way to make ongoing technological unemployment work for us instead of against us, but because such an overwhelming amount of human behavioral evidence points in the direction of basic income.

    Remove the stress of competition and everyone benefits.


    Increasing incomes results in greater social cohesion.

    For anyone who thinks welfare proves otherwise, it doesn’t. Because we attach conditions, we actually introduce certain harmful effects. By targeting assistance to households instead of individuals, we create an incentive for the formation of single parent households. By removing assistance as incomes increase, we create an incentive to stay out of the labor market. By giving only to those determined to be deserving, we attach a stigma to the assistance and to its recipient. These are not problems with the provisioning of cash assistance itself. These are problems with the way we go about designing our assistance programs. They are the result of non-universality and the inclusion of conditions that are actually and provably counterproductive.

    Our present National led government is doing the exact opposite of what needs to be done.

    • alwyn 13.1

      What level would you set the Universal Basic Income at?
      Would you make it $25,000/year say?
      Are you aware that to do so would require that this would require raising the tax rate, on all incomes, by about 50% unless you could reduce other spending dramatically?
      I do mean by 50%, not to 50%.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        A few things:

        1. I’d set it at about $20k
        2. Our entire tax structure needs to be changed and I’d incorporate a UBI with that change. It may be the first step in that change but it would certainly be a part of it.
        3. I’d stop the private banks from creating money. This should stop runaway inflation even without changing tax rates

        And I’d already figured that a UBI would need tax rates above the flat 30% that Morgan wants if we stayed with the present system. But considering that a few people are ripping us off to the tune of $6 billion per year then I figure a change to the tax system to catch that would also help constrain any inflation that may arise.

        • alwyn

          $6 billion/year isn’t very much compared to the cost of a UBI though is it?
          Suppose we paid the UBI to everyone in the country, and did it at your rate of $20,000/annum.
          That comes to about $90 billion/year doesn’t it.
          If we limited it to those over, say, 18 it would be around $70 billion/year.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The amount it comes to isn’t actually a problem. As I’ve said before, we’ve got the financial system backwards. We look at it as the government needing to raise money to do these things when the government is actually the source of all wealth and money in a country. Taxes then destroy the money that the government creates constraining inflation.

          • Grant

            Alwyn. Have you ever read the website set up to explain the book written by Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie called The Big Kahuna? It can be found at: http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/

            I ask because I would be very interested to see an informed debate by commenters here using the explanations and Q&A sections on the above site as a common reference point, rather than this point scoring nonsense that rears its head every now and then. What do you say? Are you serious about having such a discussion? If so, why not choose an explanation from the Q&A you are dissatisfied with and explain your reasoning and then see what response you get?

            • alwyn

              Oh dear.
              I tried the Minister of Finance calculator giving everyone $20,000.
              I also had a 15% GST and a required rate of return on capital of 4% (Can you do better at the moment)
              The flat tax rate to have a (tiny) surplus was 70%. Perhaps Rob Muldoon was right when he had a tax rate of 66% as his top rate.
              I read “The Big Kahuna” when it first came out. It was long enough ago that I don’t feel I can really comment on it without fully rereading it and I don’t think I have the time or inclination to do so.

              • Colonial Viper

                Relax mate, a UBI of $250 pw ($13,000 p.a.) will be enough if the government lowers the cost of accomodation, food and power, while making healthcare truly accessible and timely.

                And private sector employers will do great out of having to pay workers less.

                • alwyn

                  The purpose of a UBI, as I understand it was to replace all other benefits.
                  You appear to want to retain things like subsidised power , subsidised food, subsidised housing don’t you?
                  So instead of being the only benefit you want to add it to all the other ones.
                  Are you really in favour of reduced wages? What about the “living wage” that people seem to be in favour of?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Dude a UBI is not supposed to replace the rest of NZ society like free healthcare and free education. And it certainly isn’t a ticket for privateers to gauge consumers at the power meter and the water meter.

                    Is there a reason you want foreign shareholders to keep ripping billions of dollars out of NZ consumer pockets every year?

                    • alwyn

                      Hey I didn’t comment on Health care or Education did I?
                      I said “You appear to want to retain things like subsidised power , subsidised food, subsidised housing don’t you?” There is no claim there that a UBI is meant to replace either of these.

                      There isn’t any private investment in water in New Zealand is there? Unless there is it is hard to see how it would involve ripping of consumers.

                      Power charges are another matter. I don’t really know enough about the details to comment on it though. I haven’t really bothered to go through all the economics of the electricity industry here although I plead guilty to having bought shares in a couple of the companies.

              • Grant

                So not prepared to have an issue by issue conversation using the Q & A as a common reference point. by the sound of it. Just intellectually dishonest pot shots from the sidelines.

                • alwyn

                  Life is tough.
                  As I said I read it when it first came out in about 2010 or so.
                  I really don’t want to revisit the epistle. It isn’t really the most important work ever published is it?
                  Why don’t you start the conversation if you are so keen on it rather than accuse me of intellectual dishonesty because I don’t choose to play by your rules?

                  • Grant

                    Did you attempt to have a discussion or debate with the authors of TBK when it was published and the website went up? They made themselves very available and still are through Morgans website. I wonder why you didn’t try throwing your nuggets at them? Worried about being shot down in double quick time?

                    I suggested using their Q & A because it provides an easily available reference point for many of the criticisms and questions directed to the authors as promoters of the UBI. Anyone who IS intellectually honest would surely be interested in building on information already in the public domain in a structured and inclusive manner rather than sniping in a disorganised and non productive way, essentially designed to create more heat than light. I don’t pretend to be an economist or an expert on the concept of a UBI, but I can follow a discussion on the issues involved when the participants aim at clarity rather than deliberately leading the discussion down dark alleys which seems to be your modus operandi.

                    • alwyn

                      Yes I did talk to them.
                      I suppose I am being a bit tough on you.
                      As you admit, you say
                      ” I don’t pretend to be an economist or an expert on the concept of a UBI”.
                      I have a PhD in Economics, and I suppose I don’t really feel like spending my time discussing topics where you have to go back to basics to try and get someone to understand them. You can call me arrogant if you like.
                      Sorry but your opinion that I am “intellectually dishonest” I find offensive. I really don’t have the time or inclination to try and educate the ignorant on the subject.

                    • Grant

                      You may not have realised it but you are not on a specialist forum for special people with PHD’s in economics. This is a public space for all comers. So yes, you are probably right that you are an arrogant arse who finds it beneath himself to construct his argument in such a way that mere mortals can follow his line of thinking.

                      Did you manage to stump your economist peers (Morgan and Guthrie) with your cute line of questioning?

                      Your method seems to involve a line of rhetorical questions which suggest that there are almost insurmountable problems that make a UBI unworkable, when you are obviously familiar enough with Morgan and Guthrie’s work that you know what their proposal consists of in its totality and you know that the kind of questions you are asking here have been asked and answered elsewhere. I call that dishonest.

                      I suspect you have an ideological and / or moral aversion to the concept of a UBI which colours your ability to scrutinize it with an intellectually objective eye. Tell me it isn’t so.

                      Harvard ethicist Louis M. Guenin describes the “kernel” of intellectual honesty to be “a virtuous disposition to eschew deception when given an incentive for deception.”

              • Draco T Bastard

                I also had a 15% GST and a required rate of return on capital of 4% (Can you do better at the moment)

                The correct, maximum return to owning capital is zero. In fact, it should actually cost you to hold capital.

                The flat tax rate to have a (tiny) surplus was 70%.

                Don’t want a surplus. In fact, the governments deficit would be the rate of growth in the economy.

                The purpose of a UBI, as I understand it was to replace all other benefits.

                To replace most of them. There would still be a few extras for people with special needs.

                You appear to want to retain things like subsidised power , subsidised food, subsidised housing don’t you?

                Nope. What I want is to have them provided as a government service at close to cost. Take into account maximum public servant wages/salaries of $150k (or less) and the fact that there won’t be any profits/dividends means that costs will actually go down.

                Are you really in favour of reduced wages? What about the “living wage” that people seem to be in favour of?

                Yes and we wouldn’t actually need either the living or minimum wage with a UBI.

                • Pat

                  “Yes and we wouldn’t actually need either the living or minimum wage with a UBI”

                  …that would depend entirely upon the level of a UBI. If any UBI covered the basic cost of living (do we have a different level for Auckland/ Queenstown?) then that may be true however every proposal i have seen to date has not reached that level by quite some amount, therefore in the majority of cases there will still be a need for some other form of income and if that involves paid labour are you seriously suggesting legal protections will be redundant?

      • Nic the NZer 13.1.2

        “Are you aware that to do so would require that this would require raising the tax rate, on all incomes, by about 50% unless you could reduce other spending dramatically?”

        Who says so, and why? This is simply untrue. The government could issue a UBI of any value (including $25,000 p.a) without raising a single dollar of extra funding if it wanted to.

        • maui

          According to Gareth Morgan we can create an $11,000 basic income by setting all income tax rates at 30%: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4LUiSfLIa8

          • Colonial Viper

            Plus the government does not need taxes to fund the UBI. It can issue the money first and then tax it back later.

            • alwyn

              I cannot see any real difference between paying out the money today and taxing it back tomorrow and taxing today to pay it out tomorrow.
              They still are going to collect the amount of tax that goes out in the UBI aren’t they?
              Besides “Nic the NZer ” appears to be implying, and I may be misreading his intention, that there is no need fund the payment at all. They can just print the money and never bother to collect it back.

              • Colonial Viper

                I cannot see any real difference between paying out the money today and taxing it back tomorrow and taxing today to pay it out tomorrow.

                The former increases the stock of money available to the people.

                The latter decreases it, or at best, keeps it neutral.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I cannot see any real difference between paying out the money today and taxing it back tomorrow and taxing today to pay it out tomorrow.

                The difference is where and at what time in the cycle the money is created/destroyed and how it’s used.

                At the moment the majority of money is created by the private banks and spent where they choose. A hell of a lot of it goes on existing housing thus pushing house prices up. This money is then taxed giving the government an income.

                The other way the government creates the money and spends it where it’s needed. People have in income that keeps them well, infrastructure is built without interest and the government can also spend massively on R&D.

                The first way accepts the delusion that the private sector is the source of all wealth and the second accepts the reality that the government is.

        • alwyn

          It would have interesting inflationary consequences wouldn’t it?
          $25k/person/year would represent an additional $112 billion being added to the money supply each and every year.
          At the moment M1 is about $42 billion. The broadest aggregate, M3 is about $290 billion. Giving the money out as a direct payment would simply add to M1 I would suggest.
          If you gave everyone $25k/year M1 would be $42 billion today, $156 billion this time next year, $268 billion in two years and so on.
          Do you really think that inflation wouldn’t go through the roof?

          • Colonial Viper

            It would have interesting inflationary consequences wouldn’t it?
            $25k/person/year would represent an additional $112 billion being added to the money supply each and every year.

            Firstly, you are assuming here that everyone gets a lift by the amount of the UBI.

            That is incorrect. The UBI will partially replace the first part of wages and salaries which are currently being paid out.

            Secondly, why would inflation “go through the roof” by giving every Kiwi just enough to get on by? A UBI is not geared for people to spend lavishly or extravantly – therefore the pressure on inflation will be negligible.

            • alwyn

              I suggest you look at my reply to Draco just below here. I was talking about Nic’s comment which appeared to assume no taxes to get the money back. Thus what he was saying appears to be a permanent increase to the money supply.

              I also don’t understand what you mean by the comment that
              “The UBI will partially replace the first part of wages and salaries which are currently being paid out”
              I had thought it was intended to go to everyone and be in addition to whatever they earned.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It would have interesting inflationary consequences wouldn’t it?
            $25k/person/year would represent an additional $112 billion being added to the money supply each and every year.

            Not necessarily as there’s things that can be done to keep the amount of money added to the economy the same or even decrease it. These would include but not be limited to:

            1. Stopping the private banks from creating money when they make a loan
            2. A reworking of taxes so as to take more money out of circulation
            3. Preventing the importation of foreign money into NZ$

            Giving the money out as a direct payment would simply add to M1 I would suggest.

            Yes, it would be Reserve Currency rather than Bank Money.

            If you gave everyone $25k/year M1 would be $42 billion today, $156 billion this time next year, $268 billion in two years and so on.

            There’s these things called taxes that could be used to destroy the money created at near balance.

            Do you really think that inflation wouldn’t go through the roof?

            Not if it’s done properly. In fact, I’d expect inflation to drop.

            • alwyn

              You say
              “There’s these things called taxes that could be used to destroy the money created at near balance.”

              That is fine but Nic said
              “The government could issue a UBI of any value (including $25,000 p.a) without raising a single dollar of extra funding if it wanted to.”

              He was the one I was responding to and he appears to be saying that no taxes to recover the money would be necessary. Surely you would regard taxes to destroy the money would be “extra funding”. The case you are defending doesn’t seem to be the one (Nic’s) I was questioning.

          • Nic the NZer

            Well I wanted to know what the problem was for a start. First we need to take into account that the government can’t run out of money, it doesn’t face a budget constraint.

            Your talking about an ‘increase in the money supply’ which does not even need to occur. The government (including the RBNZ) could borrow (not tax) the funds spent resulting in no increase in the M1 money supply. Presently they do this almost daily in order to allow the RBNZ to maintain its OCR policy.

            Further, even assuming that the extra spending is not reversed, the Quantity Theory of Money which you are then using to imply inflation doesn’t work. There is no necessary implication of inflation. This conclusion depends entirely on the capacity of the economy to absorb additional spending having been exhausted. Clearly the economy is presently running below capacity so it can absorb additional spending.

  14. joe90 15

    Bill McKibben –

    Exxon Knew Everything There Was to Know About Climate Change by the Mid-1980s—and Denied It

    And thanks to their willingness to sucker the world, the world is now a chaotic mess.



    Previously on TS – http://thestandard.org.nz/exxon-knew/

    • Grindlebottom 16.1

      Password questions for the seriously depressed.

    • alwyn 16.2

      After reading these I felt like adding another.
      Right after “When did you stop trying” I want to add
      “Why can’t you stop crying”.

      I much preferred your previous link to the Tornado.

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