Open mike 27/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 27th, 2012 - 116 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

116 comments on “Open mike 27/05/2012”

  1. Carol 1

    One of these people must have it totally wrong!

    While the Herald online has been foregrounding pro JK & Blinglish articles since the budget (held at the top of the main page), there’s been plenty of articles online being highly critical of the budge (though not always in such a prominent position).

    Even the usual right-leaning online polls haven’t been that into the budget.

    And yet…..

    On Planet BS, in an article this morning Blinglish (kiddie piggy-bank thief), is coming on all positive about “romping in the next election”

    Finance Minister Bill English believes National will romp home for a third term.

    Addressing about 500 delegates at the National Party’s northern regional convention in Auckland yesterday, the Finance Minister spoke of the confidence New Zealanders had in the Prime Minister and the country.
    […]
    The first was to maintain public trust by continuing to deliver on the party’s promises and not bringing in unexpected large-scale changes.

    He said the public had learned to trust the instincts of Prime Minister John Key.
    […]
    Second was a need to maintain a “relentless focus on the economy and everything that we can realistically do to improve growth”.
    […]
    His third point was about getting good results from the public service. English said one of the striking aspects of reaction to Thursday’s “sensible budget in uncertain times”was that many of the usually vociferous public-service groups had been “remarkably absent” from political discussion.
    […]
    He said John Key was the best Prime Minister in a generation at articulating that confidence.

    Meanwhile, Bernard Hickey’s article today is less glowing:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10808680

    Tired formula gives that sinking feeling

    But, on Thursday, sitting in the Budget lockup listening to Bill English, I realised I was hearing essentially the same thing for the fourth year in a row. I was hearing a politician repeating the same forecasts about a rebound in economic growth solving the Government’s problems.

    Yet, for the past four years, growth hasn’t solved the Government’s problems because there hasn’t been enough of it.
    […]
    Then a sickening feeling hit me and I think it’s beginning to seep into the bones of consumers, businesses and, ultimately, voters. It’s different this time.

    Maybe our economy and the global economy will never get back to “normal”.
    […]
    Something is broken, and it still hasn’t really sunk through into the economic models and thinking of bureaucrats and politicians in the developed world, who are still forecasting that their economies will bounce back to pre-2008 averages.
    […]
    I wonder how long it will be before the Energiser bunnies at our Treasury stop bouncing and the politicians stop repeating the same prescriptions while expecting a different result.

    • Carol 1.1

      Blinglish said:

      His third point was about getting good results from the public service. English said one of the striking aspects of reaction to Thursday’s “sensible budget in uncertain times”was that many of the usually vociferous public-service groups had been “remarkably absent” from political discussion.

      Just because the media hasn’t picked up on their criticisms, and included them in the “political discussion”, doesn’t mean they have been quiet:

      http://www.psa.org.nz/newsroom/mediareleases/12-05-24/Zero_Budget_delivers_more_pain_for_no_gain.aspx

      The National-led government’s fourth Budget is simply a money go-round which will deliver more pain for no gain, according to the Public Service Association.
      […]
      Already 2500 public sector jobs have been lost, resulting in reduced services to the public and the situation is set to worsen as $1 billion dollars will be slashed from departmental budgets this year.

      Brenda Pilott says that will result in public services being rundown further while demand will only increase.

      “We’re already seeing the scaling down of our diplomatic presence overseas, border security compromised, prescription charges rising, police and defence personnel numbers cut, staffing slashed in a number of regional government offices such as IRD, ACC, Housing and DOC, cuts to community and health services, and vital frontline staff who offer personalised help being replaced by dysfunctional 0800 numbers.”

      “None of this equates to better public services. Cuts to public services might make the government’s balance sheet look better in the short term, but they actually strip New Zealand of capacity and end up costing more in the long run economically and socially,” she says.

      Soooo…. just more from Blinglish on Planet BS, then.

      • Blinglish’s predications on the next election are as accurate as his predictions on the economy.

         

      • ianmac 1.1.2

        And remember the cuts to frontline teacher numbers of between 500 and 1500.

        • Herodotus 1.1.2.1

          Ian,English has had a vision as NZ is losing 53k p.a. to Aust this depopulation will result in fewer children being educated here so we will require fewer teachers. English has got the correct answer but doesn’t understand the question 😉

  2. Sam Hall 2

    REDUCE DEBT.

    Retain Gold.

    We Welcome The Chinese!

    Resistance is Self-defeat.

    Authoritarian excesses, Human Rights, Environmental Impacts, will peak and then abate at some time in the future as people come under rule.

    Maori may advantage social-well being of their people through advantageous trade terms.

    Minimum wage set to rise in regular increments.

    All in 5 Year Plan

  3. Carol 3

    Ha Ha! When it was just suggested on The Nation that Greens are “making all the running” with new kinds of policies, Parker said he disagrees He used as an example Labour’s policy for Capital Gains Tax. Wasn’t that Green Party policy long before Labour picked it up?

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      Hard to say, Carol. A quick google search found both parties talking about CGT in May and June 2011, but Labour seems to be the first to put out a detailed proposal, including a 15% rate. The Greens then endorsed Labour’s position, with some reservations.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Eleven years ago, in 2001, the Green Party pushed for a CGT to be investigated and looked at favourably. Their official party policy at the time did not support a CGT.

        http://www.greens.org.nz/submissions/2001-green-party-submission-capital-gains-tax

        Eight years ago Rod Donald pushed for a CGT on all but the family home. This was the policy that Labour finally adopted.

        http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/200203-financial-review-debate

        • Carol 3.1.1.1

          Yes, CV. TGhat has been my understanding that the Green Party have had it as a policy long before Labour adopted it.

          All_in-all, I thought Parker came across as a light weight on The Nation and wonder why he was given that portfolio.

          • Anne 3.1.1.1.1

            The speech by Rod Donald (CV’s link) doesn’t actually claim that a CGT had officially become Green Party policy. Rather that he – and the Green Party as a whole – believed a CGT would be a good thing. That’s my understanding of the speech anyway. In other words it was, what could be termed ‘unofficial Green Party policy’.

            I can tell you the situation in the Labour Party was exactly the same. Labour has known for as long as the Greens that a CGT was an essential economic tool, but until recently it never became official Labour Party policy.

            Why?

            Let me quote a former senior and experienced Labour politician (long since retired) back in the early 1980s – and no, he wasn’t part of the neo liberal set. He said it’s no use introducing anything too radical (and back then a CGT was radical) until the rest of the population catches up with us. To do so is to invite an electoral backlash that will ensure we never become the govt. He went on to say that Labour just has to be patient and wait until the rest of the country catches up.

            They are finally catching up, and both Labour and the Greens are commited to an official CGT policy.

            • Carol 3.1.1.1.1.1

              That last bit of your comment is just fudging the issue, Anne. Greens were positively advocating for a Capital Gains Tax long before Labour (whatever their reasons for not doing so).

              In my search to confirm this, I found a parliamentary speech by Jeanette Fitzsimons, dated 25 May 2006, where she is advocating strongly for a Capital Gains Tax and asks for it to be investigated. She says the Greens hadn’t done this because they don’t have the resources to do it:

              http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/a/d/4/48HansD_20060525_00000824-Taxation-Annual-Rates-Savings-Investment.htm

              The Green Party position is not, at this stage, a final policy on capital gains tax, because to finalise such a policy would involve a lot of work that the resources of six MPs cannot do. We need a Government department to do a proper investigation of what that would involve. We note we are almost the only OECD country that does not tax capital gains on a broad basis—Australia, the United States, and most of the OECD do so. Therefore, to do so would not, at first sight, bring about the end of Western civilisation.

              Furthermore, http://www.odt.co.nz/election-2008/the-south/28721/shane-gallagher-greens-dunedin-south

              Shane Gallagher Green candidate for Dunedin South in 2008 claimed that a Capital Gains Tax was Green policy:

              Our policy is to have a comprehensive capital gains tax on inflation-adjusted capital gains at the time the capital gains are realised (ie a realisation-based capital gains tax). Any capital gains tax must apply to assets in NZ that are purchased and sold by people living overseas as well as assets sold or purchased by NZ residents. We support a blanket exemption for the family home from any capital gains tax when it is introduced. In addition, we support treating taxable real capital gains as income for tax rate purposes and investigate mechanisms to allow the income from capital gains to be spread over several years for New Zealand residents.

              • Anne

                No attempt to fudge the issue Carol. I remember the long discussions about a CGT at Labour Regional and Anuual Conference workshops, going back for more than a decade. However I do accept they took place behind closed doors where the media was not allowed to go. Its a matter of fact that a political party in power (the dominant one in particular) have less flexibility when it comes to openly talking about contentious subjects – at least until the rest of the population starts to catch up. That is one luxury afforded to non-government parties, and the Greens (good on them) took advantage of it.

                • Carol

                  Oh.. Took advantage? Really that’s stretching it. Being a small party has it’s disadvantages in promoting policy.

                  All number of things are discussed “behind closed doors” in parties.

                  The fact remains, The Greens were “making the running” publicly (which was what the question to Parker was asked on The Nation) about Capital Gains Tax, long before Labour publicly espoused it. So Parker chose the wrong issue to use in response to the question.

                  • Anne

                    Being a small party has it’s disadvantages in promoting policy.

                    Yes, it can. But on other occasions it can be a plus – such as promoting a contentious issue where the main governing party has to be careful what they say. That was particularly true for Labour with a corrupt National opposition (see The Hollow Men), and a hostile media who bought into the nasty Nat. memes.

                    In case you misunderstand me Carol, I’m not playing some political game of one-upmanship. I merely pointed out Labour was talking about it for a long time too – not just the Greens. I have a huge amount of respect for the Greens and am very impressed with the 2011 intake. I hope Labour and the Greens are able to from a coalition govt. in 2014 – or earlier. This country desperately needs them both!

    • mike e 3.2

      it was ACT policy to until don brash learned to swallow rats

  4. Herodotus 4

    God save NZ here in gods zone. On Q&A English had no answers and Parker thinks cgt will save NZ, and NZ will continue to see the results in 1 way airline tickets being purchased, and the continuation of current accout deficits.

    • tc 4.1

      Blinglish and Parker……yup god save us indeed because neither of these will.

      • DH 4.1.1

        Are Labour really pushing CGT that much?

        One thing CGT is guaranteed to do is push rents further up, any extra tax it pulls in will just get spent again in accommodation benefits. When every player in a market faces the same increase in costs they all put their prices up.

        Labour never seem to think their fanciful ideas through to a natural conclusion do they. A CGT needs to be matched with an increase in housing stock to reduce the demand for rentals.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          One thing CGT is guaranteed to do is push rents further up

          Bull shit. No CGT is paid unless a rental property is sold on for a profit. Explain to me why a landlord pays income tax on the rental income they earn, but currently zero tax on profit from selling a rental property.

          I agree though that Labour needs to recommit to the mass provision of socialised housing.

          • DH 4.1.1.1.1

            Capital gain makes up a significant part of the return on investment of a rental property, rents alone don’t bring in enough. Add a tax to it and you reduce the return, rents will go up to recover the loss. That’s the way the market works.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              If there’s a loss on the property, there won’t be any capital gains tax to be paid. So no worries.

              And if the landlord raises rents to generate more rental earnings, they get taxed more on that. So no net gain mate. That’s how the market works.

              And once the Government gets back into providing socialised housing for cheap, and clamping down on easy credit, there won’t be any capital gains from property speculation full stop.

              That’s called thinking through the problem mate, isn’t that what you asked for?

              • DH

                You haven’t got it right there. Investment follows very fundamental rules based on the principle of risk & reward. Property has to pay a higher dividend than bank term deposits, if it didn’t then people would simply leave their cash in the bank. It pays that dividend via a mix of rent and (tax-free) capital gain.

                Any initiatives that reduce the return on property will affect the market in one of two ways. It will lower the price of property so the return gets back up to market rates. Or it will increase rents and/or house prices to get the return back to market rates. Adding a CGT without addressing the demand/supply side will simply push prices up. The demand for rentals will be unchanged by a CGT but the investment will be reduced, ergo prices will rise until investors are attracted back into the market again.

                A CGT needs to be matched with a calculated reduction in the demand for rentals – more housing stock built. Otherwise you’re just condemning the poor to even higher rents.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Property has to pay a higher dividend than bank term deposits, if it didn’t then people would simply leave their cash in the bank.

                  So, they can leave their cash in the bank. No problem.

                  A CGT needs to be matched with a calculated reduction in the demand for rentals – more housing stock built.

                  Yeah I already answered that with socialised housing.

            • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Rubbish. Why would rents go up to cover a future sale, which may or may not happen? The two things (rental returns and profit on the sale of the property) are unrelated. While I suppose a minority of greedy landlords might use it as a bullshit reason to increase rent, the vast majority of rental properties are held long term and therefore, not subject to CGT. CGT is designed to cover the situation where properties are regularly flipped and rental income is incidental to the real business of making untaxed gains on the increased sale price.

              • Herodotus

                T.mallard argued that the tax changes that national made to eliminate tax advantages for landlords would increase rents. Was he wrong then that to reduce the returns on property Would be made up for increased rents? Or was he just playing the game of politics
                Until the rules of the market are well regulated and policed then people will still invest in property. There is a huge oversell that this is nz solution, especially short and medium term along with increasing the age of eligibility of the pension. Sure long term hard to argue against but what happens for the next 10 years and the damage waiting.

              • OneTrack

                TRP – You are talking about one possible variation of CGT. If the landlord thinks they will get taxed in the future, they will increase revenue now to cover that. Alternatively they ill exit the market. Basic market forces.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Which is why we need socialised housing. Market forces care about profit, they don’t care if people are homeless or not.

                  If the landlord thinks they will get taxed in the future, they will increase revenue now to cover that.

                  Their increased revenues today will get taxed today then. So you are saying that they’d prefer to be taxed more now, rather than later?

                  I mean how stupid are your arguments?

                  • Herodotus

                    At least Rental income even with deductions has a tax element. Capital gain has no tax elements.
                    When investors are entering any market they should be looking at their risk:reward and some form of return on investment and weighing that up with what other investments return %.
                    Property has always been (bar ’72 when Big Norm Kirk proposed it) an acceptable means of making plenty and contributing nothing in tax.
                    and I found the link re Mallards basis of protecting the landlords.
                    http://blog.labour.org.nz/2010/03/11/a-big-group-that-will-be-worse-off-following-the-tax-cuts/comment-page-1/
                    CGT as requires housing to appreciate in value. So then the 6th Lab govt would receive added tax to cover govt spending- But how would that fix our housing issue? Would that not then make property ownership membership more restrictive?

                    • DH

                      You can see that Mallard was correct and his detractors were wrong. He wrote that in 2010, look at what happened to rents in Auckland since then; exactly what he said would happen.

  5. Sam Hall 5

    60% of people who vote are over 65 “Q+A on Superann.”

    Thats are a culture of Maternal AUTHORITY writ large.

    Intergenerational Theft.

    Tame Iti: Read. Spread the Truth. Grow the whanau.

    TUHOE lead the way for disenfranchised Tangata Whenua.

    TE MAURI ORA!

    • DH 5.1

      Don’t know where the 60% figure came from but it’s wrong as quoted. Election stats say there were 2,237,464 party votes and there’s only about 550,000 people over 65. They probably meant to say that 60% of people over 65 voted.

    • Half Crown Millionare 5.2

      Intergenerational Theft.

      This seems to be the catch cry flavour of the month. Let’s dispel that myth once and for all

      I collect my super and grab it with both hands. Reason, I am of a generation that also suffered from so called Intergenerational Theft. Every generation suffers from it. In my case, through politicians not getting it right in the thirties, some prick tried to kill me and my family by bombing shit out of us. Also when I started to earn money I paid high taxes for the next generations free university, health care, farm subsidies, export incentives etc. Didn’t have a shit show going to university because like a lot of my generation, we were “working class” and “education” or what was of it was poor during these years. Then we were made to go in the forces to keep some fat cat “safe” in places like Kenya, Malaya etc. When it came to buying a house, we were “lucky” if we could borrow finance off some lawyer at high rates and interest only. Had no show of burrowing like 100% loans from banks so you could buy a 10 acre block somewhere, even if you could not afford it. Only to sell on at some later time making a massive profit all tax free.

      The same generation who were the beneficiaries of this system is same generation (Richardsons) who then said, “we have all got to stand on out own two feet, no more help or handouts” as “I we did alright Jack” and quoting Adams book Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Thanks for the fish, now get fucking on with it.

      The way this generation has consumed with all the cheap burrowing, the next generation is going to accuse them of Intergenerational Theft, because they will have to live in a world of depleted and expensive resources.

      • KJT 5.2.1

        Inter-generational theft, bludging bennies, can’t afford super/welfare/education etc etc are all TINA catch cries from parasitic right wing wealthy to deflect attention away from how much they are stealing from us.

        That Labour have bought into it shows they have still not learned from the fuckups of the first ACT government, in the 80’s.

        What we cannot afford is to give most of our wealth to those who waste it gambling overseas and on pushing our land prices up.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1

          +1

          What we can’t afford is the rich.

        • rosy 5.2.1.2

          Well said KJT

        • fatty 5.2.1.3

          “Inter-generational theft, bludging bennies, can’t afford super/welfare/education etc etc are all TINA catch cries from parasitic right wing wealthy to deflect attention away from how much they are stealing from us.”

          How is generational theft a catch cry of the “parasitic right wing wealthy to deflect attention away from how much they are stealing from us”?

          Cause all the talk of generational theft that I have read has not come from the right wing wealthy…they are the ones that frame inequality in vastly different terms.
          The claims of intergenerational theft usually steams from a (post)marxist position, which is the true left…or from the poor, or from the younger generations.
          Can someone please link me some examples of a critique of generational wealth from the right wing wealthy?

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.3.1

            Can someone please link me some examples of a critique of generational wealth from the right wing wealthy?

            You won’t find any since the Right Wing is totally predicated on conserving and growing inter-generational wealth and power. For their own families.

      • John72 5.2.2

        Half Crown M. congratulations. You have my full support. This generation does not know what hardship and work is and they do not want to know. You are not a voice in the wilderness. Your most vocal critics are the lazy ones. They cannot defend their position, only offer personal abuse. Perhaps this is a reflection of the standard of education (or role models) offered by TV. The rich are with us always. They are unhappy and the envious are unhappy.
        How many readers keep a Diary? 10 min. at the end of each day, writing up the Diary, is meditation. Very beneficial.

        • fatty 5.2.2.1

          “How many readers keep a Diary? 10 min. at the end of each day, writing up the Diary, is meditation. Very beneficial.”

          Haha..that’s funny. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqmjWCk36C8
          I don’t see the diary making a comeback, not for young people. The hyper-commercialism that was forced onto younger generations since the 1980s has made that kind of reflective meditation a thing of the past. The x & y generations have been programmed to consume and look cool…they are the most socially and politically ignorant generation so far. We should all fear for the following generations…the best we can hope for is a massive economic collapse and a reorganisation of society so that we no longer act on greed. We need a meltdown with hyper-inflation so that all debt and savings are wiped clean…then the govt can take control of greedy people’s assets and we start again with a new system…sadly, that’s the only hope for future generations.

          “Also when I started to earn money I paid high taxes for the next generations free university, health care, farm subsidies, export incentives etc.”

          True…I don’t know who suffered more…those after the boomers or those before. I wish I was a boomer

          • Carol 5.2.2.1.1

            Oh yes.The lives of those of us born into the post-war austerity were so much easier than the children and grand children of the boomer middle-classes and upperclasses – those kids who grew up with every mod con, clothes with designer labels and electronic toys.

            Learn a little history.

            And it certainly wasn’t a lot easier for lareg numbers of girls and women. Maori, Pacific people, the working classes, GLBT people etc.

            And yes, things look bleak for future generations – especially for the less well-off. Unfortunately the wealthy and comfortably off (of all the current generations), will find all the wealth and resources they are hoarding won’t protect them from the coming contraction. Society will crumble around them.

            • Half Crown Millionare 5.2.2.1.1.1

              So true carol

              The main point I was trying to make is every generation suffers or gains from the previous one. The neo liberals of today have benefited hugely by the taxes my generation paid, which I did not object to, as collectively everybody benefited in the building of the infrastructure (which they want to sell off to some fat cat overseas) health systems and good education.

              To the ones who have got fat by the system, don’t deny me my meagre pension or help to the less fortunate, and don’t accuse me of Intergeneration Theft.

              My eldest brother returned from Burma after fighting the Japanese Like all his generation be it from the left or right, the attitude was at that time “lets build a better world for everyone” and I am not going to let my kids go through that and I am going to do my best for them etc etc. My brother managed to send his son to university. This son who I would call a beneficiary of the system, now has great neo liberal attitudes with the usual “stuff you jack” everybody should stand on the own why should he be taxed to pay for some other bludgers. He conveniently forgets if it wasn’t for the socialistic systems set up in the 40’s he would not had the chance to go to university and would have been just another bright kid trying to survive in the East End. This is the attitude of the likes of Douglas and Richardson who have done very well as beneficiaries of the system which they conveniently forgot.
              When I talk about socialistic systems these were systems set up by both the left and right. Lord Beaverbrook the paper magnate who really believed in a free press not like some other turd we know today, was one of the architects of the Health system in Britain. These people from the right had a social conscience about society as a whole. This cannot be said about the breed of neo liberals that have come along since Friedman and Thatcher. They have no social conscience. They only know greed at everybody else’s expense. This is going to be their downfall. The bit I find scary if they are not stopped and attitudes do not change they will take the the world with them. It will not be by Intergenerational Theft by my generation.

          • Carol 5.2.2.1.2

            And, still, fatty, for you the gen x& yers are the poor victims of previous generations doings, even when those people are doing things destructive to society – always victims of the circumstances they find themselves in. Meanwhile, the protest generation boomers are never explained in similar terms, but are always the perps. of all our current evils.

            • KJT 5.2.2.1.2.1

              The boomers who paid 60cents on the dollar taxes for hydro power stations, railways, university educations, health care and other infrastructure, for the next generations.

              Who protested about nuclear weapons, social justice and foreign aid.

              While gen X and y moan about 20% taxes and vote for neo-liberal Governments.

              And only protest when their own student allowances are affected.

              It is a bit sad that our current Uni students are deafeningly silent when those on social security are attacked, and about other issues such as AGW, and only wake up when it affects their pockets.

              • Colonial Viper

                you make students poorer and busier, make them pay a lot of money for their courses, make them feel like they have to keep their heads down, spend time to get their grades to get a return on investment and be able to pay back their student loans.

                Universities aren’t places of thinking and debate today, they are diploma mills. Where undergrads simply want the piece of paper which is going to launch their promised careers. And lecturers see teaching students as an annoying distraction from publications and the eventual promotion that leads on to.

                Another example of Labour opening the door to the cutting of its own throat in the 1980’s.

                • Carol

                  +1 on the sad directions our unis have taken away from education to a qualification assembly line.

                  We need a university of, by and for the people.

              • fatty

                “It is a bit sad that our current Uni students are deafeningly silent when those on social security are attacked, and about other issues such as AGW, and only wake up when it affects their pockets.”

                I don’t think that is true at all..Actually, you’ll find that those students that were protesting are quite vocal and active in regards to other human rights…I think you have believed the hype from the mainstream media…most students generally do not care too much about the student loan issue and they believe in a user-pays system…most students are “deafeningly silent” in regards to the student loan issue and are generally ignorant to ALL political and social issues.
                The percentage of NZ tertiary students protesting these changes?…I’d guess about 1-2%. Students don’t “only wake up when it affects their pockets”…students are for the most part sleepy and ignorant.

            • fatty 5.2.2.1.2.2

              “Oh yes.The lives of those of us born into the post-war austerity were so much easier than the children and grand children of the boomer middle-classes and upperclasses – those kids who grew up with every mod con, clothes with designer labels and electronic toys.’

              Good point…the average person who was born between the 1950s-1970s faced more challenges than the elite of the future generations.

              “Learn a little history.”

              …like that nugget of informative insight that you just blessed me with?…thank you…I know where to come for my history lessons.

              “And it certainly wasn’t a lot easier for lareg numbers of girls and women. Maori, Pacific people, the working classes, GLBT people etc.”

              Another good point, one I’ve argued here myself, the boomers had conservative economic and social structures, they swapped them for liberal economic and social ideals…we’ve been through this before. I do find it ironic that you highlight that privileges existed back (and still do) – white privilege, gender privilege, sexuality privilege etc…but get pulled up on generational privilege and you’ll refute that till the cows some home.

              “And, still, fatty, for you the gen x& yers are the poor victims of previous generations doings, even when those people are doing things destructive to society – always victims of the circumstances they find themselves in. Meanwhile, the protest generation boomers are never explained in similar terms, but are always the perps. of all our current evils.”

              …nah, not me. I realise essentialising my argument is probably the best form of defence from confronting your privilege (rather than historical facts), but I do not paint gen x & y as pure victims, and the boomers are not “always the perps. of all our current evils”…that’s not how privilege and opportunities work.
              I know if all boomers were like you (or others on here) then we wouldn’t have generational inequality. If all white people in the past thought like me, then we wouldn’t have white privilege, and I wouldn’t be a privileged white person. (BTW, I’m poor, got a life crippling student loan and owning property is a distant dream…so I haven’t benefited from white privilege, but it still exists). I’m aware of my privileges…I know my history.
              We’ve been through all this before haven’t we Carol?…can you or someone answer this question cause this comment has come from nowhere and I dunno if people consider this to be true…I’ll repeat my question…
              How is generational theft a catch cry of the “parasitic right wing wealthy to deflect attention away from how much they are stealing from us”?

          • Vicky32 5.2.2.1.3

            I wish I was a boomer

            Well, you shouldn’t! I am technically a boomer (1953) and I have not benefitted from any of the things boomers supposedly had… (Well, one thing – close to full employment when I left school in 1971, but I didn’t get to Uni until 11 years later, being working class, and that was just before everything changed!)
            So here I am, decades later – as broke as it’s possible to be, no more prospect of home ownership than I had when I was young, too old to be attractive to employers (and I have discovered over the past 4 years that women must be attractive, to be employed in offices*) but too young for National Super.
             
             
            * Yes, knowing that the Human Rights commision has no teeth and that they can say so without consequence, at least 8 prospective employers in the past 4 years have told me in so many words, that I am too old and not good looking enough to be in their office…

            • Carol 5.2.2.1.3.1

              Yes, Vicky, while undoubtedly there’s a significant number of boomers dominating the housing ladder, home ownership is far from widespread amongst “boomers” generally:

              http://www.3news.co.nz/Halved-home-ownership-rates-for-baby-boomers/tabid/423/articleID/155691/Default.aspx

              Decreasing home-ownership rates could result in higher poverty rates for the elderly in coming years, a new study of baby boomers indicates.
              The study, to be launched by the Family Commission today, surveyed nearly 2000 people, aged 40-64 years, and found their home-ownership rates half what they are for those currently aged over 65.

              And as I recall, in one of your WINZ reports you state how most of the people turning up to their “courses” etc, were over 45 years.

              So while the elite of the boomers are creaming it, others are not so secure. And we are getting conflicting messages. While some boomers sit at the top of the tree with significant wealth and high-paying jobs, others are losing their jobs, and finding, not only are they not the most desired employees, but some younger people have the more, most recent qualifications.

              And we are being sent conflicting messages – there’s not enough money in the coffers for boomer pensions (even for some people who’ve been paying towards the super of the older generation, in the belief that their investment would set up their retirement). So some are telling boomers we need to work til we are older – which is fine for some, but only if they can get/have a job that hasn’t already ground you down. But others are saying boomers should retire and leave the jobs for younger people.

              So, really, just another divide and conquer tactic and distraction from the fact that the few are doing well at the expense of many – bennie bashing, older people bashing, “lazy” student bashing…. and on it goes…..

              • fatty

                “So, really, just another divide and conquer tactic and distraction from the fact that the few are doing well at the expense of many”

                So you do believe that the concept of intergenerational inequality is a tool of ‘right wingers’?
                …can you please give me an example…because I’ve never come across this kind of ‘divide and conquer tactic’ from the wealthy where they highlight the issue of generational inequality.

                • mike e

                  their not as stupid as you fatty telling the truth and right wing is an oxymoron. you ########n

                  • fatty

                    “their not as stupid as you fatty telling the truth and right wing is an oxymoron. you ########n”

                    Is anyone able to translate that for me please…Or have another try Mike E

  6. DH 6

    How many people have IT problems at work? Was reading this article about wasted time in the workplace & it claims that people wasted hours each week on IT failures;

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6995443/We-re-sick-of-wasting-time

    “Kiwi workers said they wasted two to three hours a week on inefficient or malfunctioning technology. ”We all know intuitively it takes too long to boot up your computer, your email crashes, all those things, but do organisations really know what that is costing them?”

    Occasionally I’ve been in a shop that linked to head office via a thin client & the system took ages to search the database but generally I thought those kind of IT troubles were a thing of the past. Do people really still have a lot of IT problems at work?

    • ianmac 6.1

      Get a MAC!

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        There’s essentially no difference between a Mac and a PC any more. It’s all the same hardware and run at similar reliability.

        Still, if I was running a business I’d probably run Linux.

        • ianmac 6.1.1.1

          Just kidding but I think that there is still a difference Draco. Not an expert but didn’t the guru who wrote the software for access to the Budget online, say that the Apple App was done very quickly but the other took several weeks. Doesn’t really matter but in Education it seems that Mac schools are often well advanced in ITC whereas PCs are less so.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Do people really still have a lot of IT problems at work?

      I suppose that depends upon how good their IT departments are. I’ve worked in corporations that did have those troubles and it was obvious that their IT department a) wasn’t funded enough, b) was taking all sorts of short cuts and/or c) their software was all over the bloody place often requiring 2 or 3 apps to get a job done.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Companies and corporations often have a poor understanding of how to properly plan and run IT. More often than not giving it to their accountant to run.

  7. lefty 7

    Our political parties all seem to be in to austerity.

    While each has their own little fantasies about how things can get better – public/private partnerships, green jobs, capital gains tax, investment in R and D etc, none of them take us away from the neo liberal economic model and none of them are addressing the structural economic problems or climate change.

    National government is busily attacking unions and trying to push wages even lower, Labour wants to mount an even bigger offensive against the whole working class by raising pension age eligibility and the Greens want to subject nature itself to market forces.

    As far as our politicians go it is clear they agree on one thing.

    Any mad idea is preferable to admitting capitalism is failing for them.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      As energy costs continue to put the hard boot down on ‘growth’ we are going to see this perpetual stagnation and mild economic decline become the new normal.

      And quite naturally, democracies all over the world will become increasingly feudal in outlook and operation, with an aristocratic class running the show in their own interests.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Unless we manage to get a proper democracy in place before the feudal lords take over again.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          That would normally take money, physical resources, governmental power and corporate media influence. Which not by co-incidence the feudal types are busy sewing up.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            That’s why we need people power. A single millionaire doesn’t have the same amount of money or clout as a million people with a few dollars each. We’ve just been conditioned to believe that they do.

            Unfortunately, it’s a little more difficult to get a million people all going in the same direction.

        • muzza 7.1.1.2

          No chance of that B, you obviosuly read enough to understand that the Military/Intelligence Networks are the ones who will be using the advanced tech to quash anything that resembles demoracy past or present.

          As Viper points out, the rulers are currently making sure that any stragglers are seen to, and chances of competition reappearing in any industry space, consigned to the history books!

    • millsy 7.2

      The drumbeats grow louder and louder for changes to National Super. Never mind that senior poverty is much worse in nations where pensions are means tested — old people in the US having to flip burgers or live on the streets, while employers are are always looking for ways to avoid making good on their pension obligations — I noticed that aforementioned drumbeats are coming from the financial services/banking sector, for whom administering pension funds would be a licence to print money.

      National Superannuation is a taonga. Efforts to change it would only lead to an infliction of hardship.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Reduce the retirement age to 62 to allow younger people to move into the work force. Pay for the difference by printing (electronically crediting the Government with) the money required.

        Meanwhile, encourage retirees to further increase their volunteering and involvement in their local communities.

        • OneTrack 7.2.1.1

          Worked for Greece

          • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1.1

            Can’t work for Greece, because Greece gave up sovereignty over their currency and have subsequently put their banks and their creditors ahead of their own people.

            NZ must not give up its economic sovereignty under any circumstances.

        • Carol 7.2.1.2

          Well, I, for one, would be happy with 62 as a retirement age and to spend my time doing things that contribute to society one way or another, CV…. so long as a have enough to live on – my needs are small.

          However, I don’t think your prescription deals with the problem of the current work structure and its underlying values. The reason many older people will be reluctant to step aside from work is because the current structure is built on individualistic values.

          Most value is put on those who set out to make themselves rich (especially since the 1980s), while community work is undervalued – both via the relative levels of remuneration and the way economic success is measured. And the result of this is low social status given to such work.

          Consequently, after many in the business world, and politics, have worked to consolidate or achieve their wealth and status, they would be unwilling to give up that status to do community work for no pay. So, many take seats on boards and places on right-wing working groups etc, They get big pay, for doing little, or little that is of value to society.

          Community work does contribute to the economy, and consequently, within the structure we have, people doing it should be paid.

          But I’m all for people in their 60s stepping aside from full time and high paid positions, to work part time.

          • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.2.1

            Consequently, after many in the business world, and politics, have worked to consolidate or achieve their wealth and status, they would be unwilling to give up that status to do community work for no pay.

            Yep. Luckily, I’m guessing the Don Brash and Roger Douglas types make up quite a small %, whereas mature persons who think more like yourself are far more numerous.

        • Vicky32 7.2.1.3

          Meanwhile, encourage retirees to further increase their volunteering and involvement in their local communities.

          Oh that’s hilarious! This year I decided that as there’s less than a zero % chance of my ever getting a job (year 4 on UB), I’d do some volunteering work.
          That was in mid-January. It’s now a few days off from June. I’ve been to MOTAT, Volunteering Auckland, and the Auckland City Mission. All of them have turned me down – which makes me feel worse than useless. So, no, nobody’s actually crying out for volunteers!
          Except maybe the people who wanted me to pay them serious money to do their  ESOL course so I could teach English as a second language for free through their organisation. The tertiary qualifications in ESOL teaching that I already have, are it seems, not quite good enough, neither is my eight  years’ experience in the field! 
          So, yeah, I’d happily take National Super at 62, only 4 years to go, as my experience has shown that employers won’t hire anyone over 50… so you’ll forgive me for screaming every time I hear about the poor yoof… at least yoof unemployment is not invisible! I look at my fellow attendees at WINZ seminars, and whaddaya know, no one there is under 45…

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      Any mad idea is preferable to admitting capitalism is failing for them.

      QFT and it’s that particular reason why I haven’t joined a political party. The whole damn lot of them are in denial of reality.

    • KJT 7.4

      Labour intentions on superannuation shows they are still trapped in the Neo-liberal paradigm.

      Anything to avoid the obvious answer. Extend the pension idea of a minimum income to young people and families also. Much more effective stimulus than tax cuts for the wealthy to waste.

      http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2011/06/on-retirement-pensions-and-age-of.html

      We cannot afford super is yet another repeated right wing meme. It has been repeated so often even those who should know better have been taken in.

      We can, if we invest in our country and our young people.

      Instead of selling off our income earning assets to fund tax cuts.

    • OneTrack 7.5

      As capitalism has failed, can you give us some evidence-based examples of communist states that we should emulate.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.5.1

        All civilisations start off being communist. If it wasn’t for the success of that start they would never have the wealth to turn to capitalism and then screw everything up.

      • John72 7.5.2

        One Track. At last ! Some hope of sense.
        It is better the devil you know than the one you don’t.

      • felix 7.5.3

        “can you give us some evidence-based examples of communist states that we should emulate”

        As I’ve run out of marmite, please show me some vegemite or I’ll refuse to believe there’s anything to put on toast.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.5.3.1

          Well put 😀

        • fatty 7.5.3.2

          “As I’ve run out of marmite, please show me some vegemite or I’ll refuse to believe there’s anything to put on toast.”

          Haha…good call. Its surprising that some people are still sucking on Saggy Thatcher’s floppy old tittie…The concept of TINA is possibly more powerful now than its ever been – look at Europe

  8. Sam Hall 8

    Additional Tax changes considered were unable to be implemented due to IRD IT turnaround limitations.
    “Welcome my son…welome to the machine..

  9. joe90 9

    Canadian students do it in style.

  10. Jackal 10

    Murray McCully hang your head in shame

    National has reneged on aid commitments to the world’s poorest people, by cutting $133 million from its Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) budget over the next three years…

  11. ianmac 11

    Millhouse posted this to me about National Standards. A simple Youtube summary of NS as seen by farmers (teachers) and fruit and vegetables (children).

    Just talking today with a facilitator for online post graduate teachers who report that some schools are neglecting many areas of schooling like Science and Art, but putting all their time and energy into Literacy and Numeracy in order to inflate their National Standards ratings. Funny that.

  12. joe90 12

    Conveniently omitted from the RWNJ narrative that Greeks have only themselves to blame, the tax exempt status of the one percent.

    They are among the wealthiest Greeks — whether shipping magnates, whose tax-free status is enshrined in the constitution, or the so-called oligarchs who have accumulated vast wealth via their dominance in core areas of the economy like oil, gas, media, banking and even cement.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Put the blame where it should be – on the rich. That applies in NZ as well especially under this government.

    • Murray Olsen 12.2

      Exactly. Welfare was the problem. All the neolibs forget to mention is that it was welfare for the rich.

  13. John72 13

    The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms. The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, cars and real estate, BUT friendship, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love, and faith.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      That’s nice but you can’t have any of those latter things in a capitalist society and, no matter what, we all need the former (except the stocks/bonds and cars).

      • Uturn 13.1.1

        +1

        friendship,
        until it is inconvenient.

        trust,
        until it becomes unprofitable.

        confidence,
        measured in material gain.

        empathy,
        as long as it doesn’t cause change.

        mercy,
        to those who are like ourselves.

        love,
        prostituted to ambition.

        and faith,
        that death will save us from the truth.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          Wow

        • TheContrarian 13.1.1.2

          Wow, that’s really depressing. Glad I don’t have to live like that.

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.2.1

            And please, feel free to wilfully ignore all those who do.

            • TheContrarian 13.1.1.2.1.1

              Ignore people who wander around second guessing and distrusting “friendship, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love, and faith”?

              Sure.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yep. Hence why I don’t vote for Key, English or Brownlee.

                • Well I wouldn’t put your stock in with Draco then either.

                  • felix

                    As usual you’ve got it arse backwards, my slow-witted little conformist friend.

                    Your lack of trustworthiness in no way implies any lack of ability in others to trust.

                    • “Your lack of trustworthiness in no way implies any lack of ability in others to trust.”

                      My lack of trustworthiness? You fucking numpty.

                      Draco says “That’s nice but you can’t have any of those latter things in a capitalist society” in relation to “friendship, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love, and faith.”

                      To which I reply “speak for yourself Draco, I have everything John 72 listed (except faith, I am an atheist).”

                      So, what the fuck are you talking about? Its Draco and UTurn implying the inability to trust, love and have confidence. Not me.

                      So who is arse-backwards?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I didn’t imply its lack, just that you can’t have it in a capitalist society where it’s all against all.

                    • “just that you can’t have it in a capitalist society where it’s all against all.”

                      Well I have “friendship, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love (though not faith as an atheist)”

                      So where does that leave your claim then? Are you going to tell me I don’t have these things? Based on what?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Overall, society doesn’t have those things.

                      Trust is non-existent – I’m pretty sure those emails telling me that I’ve won $100m/have a huge inheritance and all I have to do is send a $10000 money order and it’ll be right in the mail are all truthful, really.
                      Confidence in what? Can’t be government as they busy destroying our society. Can’t be confident that you’ll have a job tomorrow as jobs are disappearing so as to lower wages.
                      Empathy – ACC cuts to rape victims shows a distinct lack of that, so does all the beneficiary bashing going on.
                      Mercy – Same place the empathy is I suspect.

                      I didn’t mention friendship or love as they’re personal but I’m sure we’ll find that such has also been abused so that someone else can make a buck.

                      My point was that capitalism breeds the opposites.

                    • felix

                      Oh Contrarian you poor wee thing. I was using you as an example because I don’t trust anything you say.

    • Olwyn 13.2

      “friendship, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love, and faith.”

      I am not sure the list of things are all of the same calibre. Trust, for example, is a judgement, and depends on something in one’s life being trustworthy, though one might retain trust in God where nothing else was trustworthy. And certainly no amount of material accumulation is going to make up for these values where they are absent. However, our ability to develop and retain these properties are under threat when we are utterly deprived. It makes me angry when people are so trained that they must preface their concerns with “We do not indulge in luxuries, and we never go to the movies or take the kids to the zoo etc…” It is as if anything above bacteria-like survival becomes a source of guilt, while the people encouraging this thinking make million dollar errors and still sleep at night.

      • seeker 13.2.1

        “It is as if anything above bacteria-like survival becomes a source of guilt, while the people encouraging this thinking make million dollar errors and still sleep at night.”

        Perfectly put Olwyn.Unfortunately ‘morality’ has been redefined by the likes of Phil O’ Reilly, now a ‘new corporate church order business deacon’ as being: ‘the highest moral standard one can achieve is “productivity and competitiveness”‘.
        http://tvnz.co.nz/close-up/wednesday-february-29-4748673

        Now can you see how a ‘moral’ man can sleep soundly at night

  14. “That’s nice but you can’t have any of those latter things in a capitalist society”

    Speak for yourself Draco, I have everything John 72 listed (except faith, I am an atheist).

  15. Sam Hall 15

    DH; Apologies.much haste. 60% of voters over 50?

    Jackal. World Bank Prediction for “investment” in developing countries to decline.

    U-Turn. Excellence.

    Fight for socialism in the name of capitalism (subversion)

    “Intellectuals become first students of the masses to become teachers of the masses”

    “When money stops flowing to the man on the street, blood flows in the street”

    Infrastructure spending. Chinese Investment. Employment.

    Like Water.

  16. seeker 16

    In a Herald article today entitled,” Charter Schools meet with some resistance” and resplendent with a cheery photo of snow queen Catherine Isaacs, John O’Neill professor in Teacher Education at Massey, points out what he considers to be the real agenda for the ‘out of the blue’ introduction of Charter Schools.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10808693

    “O’Neill is sceptical of Isaac’s sincerity in pushing the charter school agenda. He points to the legislative change, which will effectively “take teachers out of the State Sector Act”.

    Under the act, teachers are deemed public servants and entitled to a collective contract.

    By changing the law, charter schools will be able to employ teachers on individual contracts.

    This is Isaac’s real agenda, he claims: “to block the power of the unions”.”

    Never mind our children then. Ice splinters all round.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Well, after NACT went around telling everyone how good privatisation is they’d have to defend the failure that it is else they’d have to admit that they were wrong and they’ll never do that.

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