Open mike 29/03/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 29th, 2024 - 48 comments
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48 comments on “Open mike 29/03/2024 ”

  1. dv 1

    To allow those people, who are motivated by money, to at least keep contributing to the economy, I think you need a number that's sufficiently high.”

    David Seymour doesn’t think it’s possible to have too much wealth.

    That number?

    “I proposed, as a ballpark figure for discussion, 10 million euros,” says Robeyns.

    What I found of interest was the survey that showed

    48% agreed with Seymore and the balance with the wealth limitation proposal.

    • Ad 1.1

      From 1944 to 1963 our top income tax was 94%.

      Despite multiple massive crises since, no government has proposed going back.

      Flew out of Queenstown this morning to Auckland, and across the two of them you have our gross wealth concentration.

    • bwaghorn 1.2

      There's no point debating something that'll never happen, , better to focus on the possible,

    • Bryan Dods 1.3

      “ in reply to dv comment 1

      “There has always been something inside us that wants to dominate other people, a kind of tribal society, . . . . ."

      As I read this I thought DS was talking about the right wing rich. But of course he is talking about those who want to change the status quo for the rich.

      How typically one-eyed of him. Blind in one eye and myopic in the other.

      • Descendant Of Smith 1.3.1

        What it does illustrate is that the rich can never be satisfied. Although the following taxes and others have been removed or reduced in NZ it will never be enough for them.

        Personal tax rates – down from in my lifetime 66% to 33%
        Company tax rates – down from 48% to 28% (company taxes are now only 17% of total tax take and the mantra that we can't pay our workers more unless tax came down was as big a lie as allowing landlord tax deductability will reduce rents)

        Sales tax on expensive motor vehicles of 40% – gone
        Land taxes – gone in 1992
        Death duties – gone in 1993
        Stamp duty – gone in 1999
        Gift duty – gone in 2011

        Pool et al (2007) note that, “Post-World War Two social policy … was directed to a family wage that enabled a man (for it was very gender specific) to maintain adequately a wife and three children (p. 201).”

        The well off have benefitted from this much much more than the working class. I wonder at what point they would consider enough is enough.

    • AB 1.4

      Ash Sarkar interviewed Robeyns on Novara about a month ago. One of the things Robeyns suggested, and admitted she was perhaps rare in doing so, was that great wealth cannot in any meaningful way , be deserved. She maybe doesn't spend enough time talking about that idea directly, but she's interesting on how she traverses this topic while trying to avoid being smeared as a communist.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.5

      The survey was self-reported, so mostly meaningless.

      "We have a societal agreement that nobody should be poor, but the question is, should there also be something at the opposite side? Should we say that at some point somebody has too much? "

      Interesting to have such a different perspective from The Netherlands – there is no societal agreement in NZ that nobody should be poor.

      • Kay 1.5.1

        Was there ever such an agreement in NZ? Specifically, post WW2 and pre-1984? Thinking back to being a kid in the 70s, with a couple of years living on the DPB, even that wasn't poverty like now. So there must have been some sort of agreement by society that they didn't want people living in cars/on the street/malnourished and the governments of the day responded accordingly.

        Obviously, the tune has totally changed and society isn't going to agree on anything that doesn't benefit them personally.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          The budget thus accentuated the trend of New Zealand tax policy, shared by both political parties, of favouring families.

          This policy was mentioned by the 1951 Taxation Committee which had noted that “social security and the welfare programme have become part of the national economy, and that the country is committed to a continuation of the programme (Gibbs, 1951, para. 195),” and was summarised a decade later by the Ross Committee (1967): It is probably universally accepted, and it is certainly accepted in New Zealand, that a direct income tax system should be so designed as to have regard for a taxpayer’s family status so that, generally speaking, an unmarried man on a certain level of income pays more income tax than a married man on the same income.

          This principle is applied further so that a taxpayer with other dependents, for example, children, pays less tax than another taxpayer on the same income who has no or fewer dependents. In most cases the dependants for whom tax recognition is given are a wife (or dependent husband) and children.

          In addition to this employers had the same regard. In the early 80’s married men with non working wives often got an extra allowance until their wages reached a certain level. I was in banking then and none of us single people were concerned at all about the extra our married colleagues got. We just saw this as normal and sensible.

          There was also a tax rebate for non-working spouses if you did not have children. That has long gone despite somehow expecting people in that situation to pay tax as if they are single as well as provide for the partner. Tis why I have zero in Kiwisaver.

          I wonder too if there was still such a rebate for non-working partners how much lower sole parent benefits would be – not necessarily through fraud but just through separation due to financial pressure – saw a lot of that shift in the 22.5% interest on mortgage period.

  2. joe90 2

    Sounds familiar.


    Outsourcing has always happened to an extent, as it does in most countries. However, since the 1980s, it has increased precisely as a result of the ideology that the private sector is definitionally more efficient, with market competition the key to making it so.

    Crucially, the state has increasingly become a commissioner and regulator of services, rather than a provider – a hollowed-out state rather than a smaller state.


    According to an Institute for Government report, there’s no reliable measure of total public services subcontracting, but public sector procurement spending, which includes such subcontracting, now accounts for about a third of total public spending.

  3. Phillip ure 3

    On rnz now…another death knell for our animal exploitation industries..

    The code for vegan cheese has been cracked..with the fermenting of a plant based whey…

    Whey is what gives cheese it's chewiness etc..

    And wot with all the plant based 'meats' turning up..

    ..and the growing international awareness of the environmental footprint of meat..

    ..our other animal based industries are facing a wool-future..

    Nobody wanting our 'dirty' animal based products..

    (It'll free up a lot of land..)

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      Synthetic milk will appear years before synthetic meat – watch out Fonterra!

      • Phillip ure 3.1.1

        The meat is already here…

        And cow milk really is intended for baby cows…

        And vanilla soy milk on cereal/fruit/plant-based berry hard to beat.. the long term..fonterra are fucked..

        They are our number one'know..!

        Massive economic disruption ahead..value of dairy farms plunging..

        It’s gonna get ugly..

        The smart people will get out early..

        ..the others won’t..

        • Jilly Bee

          Oat milk for us on cereal (especially rolled oats) and often for coffee.

          • Phillip ure

            For those seeking the nearest to cow milk for tea/coffee..the Pam's house brand soy does the trick..

            • Descendant Of Smith

              And cow milk really is intended for baby cows…

              By that logic should we not be commercialising the production of human breast milk?

              Of course once only a few generations back we just wet-nursed.

              • Phillip ure

                I don't see why a fair copy of breast milk couldn't be made..containing all the goodies that contains..

                Far better for babies than the cow stuff..

            • Kay

              Any tips for one who would love to move away from/cut down on cow's milk, but cannot handle the taste of the alternatives? (I've tried and tried, on and off for many years)

              • bwaghorn

                Black tea , black coffee, hot water on cereal , in 2 weeks ypu won't go back , tricky plumbing you see, keeps me skinny 😜

            • Rosielee

              So, where does the soy come from?

                • Matiri

                  Vitasoy is made from Australian soy beans – the original is creamy enough for my dairy cream loving husband to have on his porridge! Widely available. Also makes a good alternative to coconut milk in curries as I cannot eat coconut.

                  • weka

                    everyone has the foods they like that they don't want to give up. It's not going to save us from climate catastrophe. See my comments below. Resilient and sustainable milk will only come locally.

          • Obtrectator

            Same here, Jilly. Always have it in coffee, though – way better than cow's.

        • Tabletennis

          How far do we think we are away from the production of milk through precision fermentation?
          Esp in use of processed food shouldn't be that far away surely?

          "But Mr Fader admitted that production of the animal-free product was energy intensive, with half of the running costs of a precision fermentation plant going towards energy use.
          This leaves the dairy industry questioning the environmental credentials of lab-brewed milk."

          I would have thought that the cost of energy supply could be solved with renewable energy.
          Typical response to expect from the dairy industry.

        • gsays

          Where are these soy beans going to be grown in the milk take-over?

          A bit like EVs saving the world, the 'go vegan save the world' mantra I find a bit dubious. Especially when yr fake 'meats' and synthetic food replacements are cited.

          Aotearoa, in 2022, imported $2.08M of soy beans, well over half of them from Canada. Where 60% of the crop is GMO, generally herbicide resistant (Go Monsanto!), using substantial amounts of water.


          I get yr comment was more aimed at Fonterra, but the alternative doesn't feel like a step forward- diesel miles, Round-Up, high water usage.

          Maybe, being King For a Day, those dairy farms could be replaced with organic soy farms, we may be on to something…

          Now, if you were talking a whole food, seasonable, vegetable diet, supplemented by dried pulses, nuts, seeds, mushroom etc, perhaps. Akin to lots of 'ethnic cuisines' eg Indian, Asian

          • Phillip ure

            The fact is that 85% of soy grown is used to feed animals…so..

            And the fake meats aren't for me..they are for those who are addicted to eating flesh…they are a kinda methadone for meat for them..

            Of course the diet you describe is ideal…and hopefully they would morph into that..

          • Tabletennis

            he 'go vegan save the world' mantra I find a bit dubious.

            Really depends if you want to compare apples with apples and between or within countries than it isn't that dubious:
            i.e water usage*, water pollution, fertilisers, Co2 emission, packaging, land use (abuse), pesticide use, antibiotic use, animal welfare, outbreaks of disease within the herds (mad cow disease) and those that can jump over to people (swine flu), biodiversity loss, land grabs for agriculture, pollution, etc etc.

            in Canterbury gave a grey water footprint of about 400 litres of water to make a litre of milk.

            • weka

              it's very hard to get good discussion of this in part because articles like that that discuss industrial export dairy. The reason it uses so much water is because they're raising cows in deserts. It's utterly bonkers and has nothing to do with a post-carbon world and everything to do with the export economy.

              Instead, we should be comparing organic monocropped soy vs regenag, for local production, and the extent to which both of those can be localised. That's the only thing that is heading in the right direction.

              Straight replacement of dairy with plant products is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. We have the technology to produce dairy locally, minimal processing, and distribute straight to customers. There are dairy farmers in NZ doing this already.

              Monsanto, monocropped soy is terrible on the land, needs a lot of industrial processing, additional ingredients, and carries much bigger miles.

              • weka

                and that immediately takes us to the fact that our economy is based on environmental destruction, and very few people are doing the work on how to change that. Soy milk won't save us even if we grow it at home, because most of our dairy is exported.

              • Macro

                In total agreement. Our live milk comes from an organically run farm just down the road and we have a share in the cow. As cheap as the milk from the local supermarket, but way superior.

            • gsays

              What weka said.

              Before you have me pegged as a Fonterra fanboy, yr missive has a bit too much hysteria hyperbole to ignore. Foot and mouth, animal welfare… Cockies as a rule don't feed beef to their cows and a happy cow is a productive unit

              I am a fan of Mike Joy and his work. I see why Canterbury was chosen for the study. Canterbury ain't the place to do dairy.

              As to pesticide, water use, herbicide, big Agri, Capitalism run amok etc, I give you the Soy sector. Just like yr criticism of dairy.

              It isn't dairy per se that is bad, it's the intensification, global economic capitalist vibe that is the issue.

              I live in near a small rural settlement (cross roads, school, clock museum, cafe and tree nursery) that used to have half a dozen creameries. What I wouldn't do to have that type of economy/Aotearoa to return.

              Paraphrasing weka, our solutions are local.

  4. joe90 4

    More Russophobia…



    Russian propagandists want to "restore historical justice" by capturing Finland, Poland, Baltic States and Alaska. Serbia will join voluntarily, they believe.

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