Open mike 29/11/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 29th, 2015 - 145 comments
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145 comments on “Open mike 29/11/2015”

  1. North 1

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11552879

    Meanwhile…….in South Auckland a garage/sleepout burned to the ground as scores of gang members partied hard, seemingly uncaring that in destructive, drunken disorder one of their number had caused the blaze.

    The Minister for Spoiled White Brats has expressed concern –
    “These people seem never to work…..someone else provides all their needs…….and then they strut their indolence and entitlement on Instagram !”

    • Paul 1.1

      The Herald is obsessed with the son of ‘Dear Leader.’

      ‘Fire broke out early on Friday on Beachcomber Island, a tiny Fiji resort hosting about 200 Kiwi 20-somethings for a week of partying.’

      • Jenny Kirk 1.1.1

        Or ShonKey is obsessed with getting publicity in whatever way he can – even to the extent of using his own family to do so ! (No other PM in NZ has ever used their family members the way ShonKey does. Its disgraceful!)

        • Paul 1.1.1.1

          And further evidence that the Herald is nothing more than a gossip mag and vehicle for publicising the adventures of the rich and ‘famous’.

          Key’s son and 200 other rich young things from NZ have to evacuate luxury resort island is seen as more newsworthy that Cyclone Tuni smashing Samoa.

          There is no 4th estate in NZ.

        • alwyn 1.1.1.2

          Have a look at the family publicity for your namesake Norman some time.
          His wife had her own little column in the Woman’s Weekly. Dead boring trivia that was dropped as soon as Norm died.
          Then he was succeeded by his son as MP. Very successful that was if I remember correctly.

          • North 1.1.1.2.1

            Trust Trollwyn to conflate a column in the Womens’ Weekly 43 years ago with the front page of a major daily exercised by notions of a fabulous ‘New Camelot’.

            Some ratshit perspective you have there Trollwyn. Was Barbara Hutton your mummy ?

            • alwyn 1.1.1.2.1.1

              In what way is it “trolling” to point out that the following statement, made by Jenny Kirk is at least arguably untrue?
              “No other PM in NZ has ever used their family members the way ShonKey does.”
              Other PMs have most definitely done worse, haven’t they? Particularly as you have nor reason to say that Key is in any way involved in what the Herald chooses to publish. Do you really think that Key is responsible for everything that happens?
              Why is there so much irrational antipathy to the PM. I thought the opinions about Helen Clark in her day were way over the top but the comments about Key are even worse.

              • Pascals bookie

                “I thought the opinions about Helen Clark in her day were way over the top but the comments about Key are even worse.”

                lol.

                I think you forget how daft things got. Books written and pushed by main RW blogs about Calrks fake marriage and quest to destroy the bedrocks of socety coz lesbian, ‘Helengrad’, etc.

                Its not even close.

              • I think any antipathy to the PM is rational and well earned.

              • North

                It was a troll who made the brazenly false claim about Kelvin Davis, Serco and Corrections about ten days ago, which said troll has not yet acknowledged nor apologised for.

                Today……different topic same troll. If ya think Womans’ Weekly 43 years ago really equates to Mr E! Channel and surly offspring……Wow !

          • Ffloyd 1.1.1.2.2

            alwyn. You know this how? Osmosis, or did you read said columns?

            • alwyn 1.1.1.2.2.1

              I did read some of them. Believe it or not but the Woman’s Weekly used to be a very good magazine. My wife used to get it in those days.
              It turned to total rubbish 30 odd years ago though. They had an editor named Jean Wishart for about 30 years from about 1952 to about 1985. She was unmarried, lived with her mother and apparently had no social life. She had an infallible idea of what New Zealand woman wanted to read though and almost every woman at the time read it. It was also a very advanced mag in its views, being one of the first to publish on abortion and so on.
              At its peak, during her reign, it had a circulation of about 250,000.
              The columns Ruth Kirk wrote were crap though.

        • Anne 1.1.1.3

          As far as I’m concerned if Key uses his own family for publicity and/or members of his family use him for publicity stunts, then those members are ripe for public judgement when they so deserve.

          Max Key is a spoiled brat who needs a big stick poked up him and soon. His ambition is to be a Billionaire. What else need be said.

          • Hami Shearlie 1.1.1.3.1

            Little Max obviously got his values from his parents – kids usually do – so if Max’s one ambition in life is to be a billionaire, it says a lot about what is of prime importance to his father I would think! Empty vessels! Sad for Key and his son that they can’t take it with them when they depart this mortal coil!

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.3.1.1

              +111

            • alwyn 1.1.1.3.1.2

              If his ambition is to be a billionaire you certainly can’t say he is not aiming high.
              My ambition at that age wasn’t nearly so great. I simply wanted to be like Janis Joplin and to have a Mercedes.

              Mind you in those days a billion was a lot of money.

              • Tracey

                I am not sure you completely understood joplin. But you and young Key, generations apart, share something which for me lies at the root of why our system fails our most vulnerable. You both strive for a thing, a symbol of wealth as though it equates to success, so people know you are important. What a waste of potential.

              • Gangnam Style

                I reckon, I don’t think that song means what you want it to mean, its anti capitalist ya dummy

                • alwyn

                  Gosh, are you sure?
                  How could I have been so stupid?
                  Did I need you and Tracey to explain it to me?

                  Don’t be such a dick you silly little man.
                  I suppose that next you’ll want to explain to me that Das Kapital isn’t the script for a Marx Brother’s movie.

                  I most definitely understood Janis Tracey. The only thing I have never understood is why she, and so many others her age overdosed on Heroin.

                  • McFlock

                    Doesn’t it worry you that people can’t tell the difference between:
                    the bits where you’re pretending to be stupid for comedic effect; and
                    the bits where you try to make a serious point?

                    • alwyn

                      To answer you seriously.
                      Not much. I don’t think people like Gangnam and some others are really as silly as they often seem. Sometimes, just occasionally, they do get things but then they like to pretend they don’t.
                      Besides I cannot, with the best intentions in the world, get the hang of the smiling faces and so on so it isn’t that easy to highlight it.. And yes I know where the explanation is. I shall have to get a seven year old to explain it to me though.

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.3.1.3

              If Max has a genuine ambition to be a billionaire, then he certainly doesn’t seem to be doing the things that he would need to do to become one.

              • alwyn

                He has got the first step out of the way. Be born to rich parents. After all it is making the first million that is the hardest.

                I rather prefer the similar story about the patron saint of Paris, St Denis. He was being led off to his place of execution when the Roman soldier decided he didn’t want to waste any more time and decapitated him a couple of miles before the designated spot. If you believe in miracles you may accept the story that he picked up his head and continued on the journey.
                Of that feat it was said that
                “The distance doesn’t matter; it is only the first step that is the most difficult”.

                On the other hand I really cannot get in the slightest bit interested in young Max. Thank goodness the Dom/Post doesn’t waste ink on him. He has got enough going on not to be abused by people who only dislike him because of who his father is.

                • Lanthanide

                  Very few people are billionaires. There’s a huge amount of luck involved, but also you basically have to start and run your own company. Max has no real barriers to starting and running his own company; the fact that he hasn’t done so already, if he truly is set on being a billionaire, shows that he doesn’t really have what it takes.

                  • alwyn

                    True . He is 20 according to Google, the age Gates was when Microsoft was founded.
                    On the other hand he may not be Bill Gates. Paul Allan was all of 22 when they started I believe.
                    However the rest of what you say is spot on. You need much more than simply an attitude of I want to be rich and I deserve it. Poor little bugger. He’s always going to be compared with his father. Not quite like being J D Rockefeller JUNIOR but it might feel like that.

          • Robert Glennie 1.1.1.3.2

            I don’t honestly care what his ambition is – as long as he doesn’t hurt anyone or cause damage in his pursuit of it.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.3.2.1

              Becoming and staying a billionaire inherently hurts many people and causes huge amounts of damage as the only way to do so is to steal from as many people as possible while encouraging massive over use of resources.

            • Tracey 1.1.1.3.2.2

              Too late. The space he takes in news columns could be used publicising the real plight, and treatment of, the vulnerable, instead of championing a self indulgent and mostly unattainable lifestyle.

          • Ffloyd 1.1.1.3.3

            Anne. lol Just saw photo of young MaxiKey relaxing in string hammock. Looks like has a stick uphim. Hate to see him when he is Not relaxed. Actually feel a little big sorry for the wee boy. For God’s sake, what is our media coming to. Angry!!

        • tc 1.1.1.4

          Key chooses this exposure, max plays along so it’s on them if this strategy has untoward repercussion down the line.

          Note the women stay well away from this boys game, Bronagh does the required minimum aside hubby.

      • mary_a 1.1.2

        Yes I saw that one Paul @ (1.1).

        Had another of many FFS moments I’m having at present, regarding FJK and the irrelevant fruit of his loins!

        Who gives a big rat’s what mini me Key is doing anyway? NZH seems to give him plenty of attention though, at the expense of the real news I’d say. On whose orders I wonder? The “puppeteer” perhaps?

        • Paul 1.1.2.1

          It may simply be that the Herald only gets its media now through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and that they follow certain people’s pages.

          If ever anyone wanted to highlight how appalling the media in this country has become, then this would take the biscuit.

          Remember it would have focused on instead global rallies around the world and in NZ prior to the Paris Climate talks.

          However, stalking Key’s son’s site is seen by the editor at the Herald as more important.

    • maui 1.2

      Heh, the Max articles… shows something is very wrong/sick in our politics and media, maybe just society in general. Although there’s still plenty of good people out there improving society in areas that matter in real life.

  2. Grey Area 2

    So Shipley thinks it’s time to change the flag: “Do they need need someone else to speak for them or can we as New Zealanders speak for ourselves ? I expect to speak for myself,” Shipley said. (Today’s SST pg5).

    She will be disappointed if we cling to something that’s “got a dubious past in it’s origin and speaks to a time, where, frankly, it is completely irrelevant today”.

    I would have thought her “young spirited, fleet-footed” nation might like to have a wider discussion about cutting ties to the anachronistic and irrelevant monarchy and (again) ditching an honours system based on ties to Britain and our colonial past.

    Interestingly nowhere in this “piece” is she referred to as “Dame” – just “former prime minister Jenny Shipley”. Why is that?

    Perhaps because the logic disconnect might be even more apparent?

    • Paul 2.1

      Shipley and her cronies destroyed NZ..

      • aerobubble 2.1.1

        Guyon on the Nation panel could not imagine a reason why the current policy towards kiwis in oz was bad. Yet magnificent debated the nuances of Keys survival.
        Strange that nobody pulls up the Liberal Australian party on its undermining the free trade between us, as risks and costs force kiwis living there and others, to be mindful of how easily they could be exposed, by losing employees or family members to extradition, or having to carry their own kids in uni or health care, unemployment while paying for everyone else’s.

        Its not so much that they are incompetent its just that the right has always had a easy ride, how do you figure Thatcher, zombie zero, got such a easy time and still does.

    • sabine 2.2

      it was under Shipley that the whole flag changing thingy started. Was it not then that she had to resign because of inappropriate dealings with one of the Saatchi and Saatchi Brothers?

      So clearly, she would not have given up the idea…and just wants it now, like the rest of the corporate Posse that disguises as the National Party.

  3. RedLogix 3

    <

    A dinner to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the election of the first ever Labour Government will bring together a potentially explosive mix of people as some of the Rogernomes return to their original home for some reminiscing.

    The dinner at Parliament is organised by current MP Stuart Nash, the grandson of the Prime Minister in the Second Labour Government: Sir Walter Nash.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11552297

    Someone tell me I’m hallucinating … please.

    • Paul 3.1

      Nash is in the wrong party.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Labour has no problem embracing the far right of the political spectrum. It’s become increasingly farcical as time goes on.

        • McFlock 3.1.1.1

          yes, dear

          • Paul 3.1.1.1.1

            Mockery of cv is not an actual argument.
            Many people agree with cv’s view of thr Labour Party.
            How else do you explain Labour’s embrace of neo-liberalism for 30 years?

            • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1.1

              🙄

              Lab4 – no contest. Complete capture. But since then Labour has been at most middle-right, generally middle-left.

              Saying Labour currently participates in an “embrace of neo-liberalism” misunderstands the concept of neo-liberalism, the concept of an embrace, or both.

              Yes, for some commenters here to agree with Labour it would involve a long walk to the right for the commenters or a long walk to the left for Labour. But the starting points are relative – for Labour to be objectively “far right” it would share most of its policy manifesto with someone like Rand Paul. And yes, Labour is currently well to the left of Rand Paul.

              • Colonial Viper

                all that’s happened is that market driven neoliberalism has become normalised in society and in politics. Even some Lefties have become habituated to it.

              • Nic the NZer

                “Saying Labour currently participates in an “embrace of neo-liberalism” misunderstands the concept of neo-liberalism, the concept of an embrace, or both.”

                Disagree. As I define it a political party embraces Neo-liberalism when they accept and follow economic policies dictated by main-stream neo-classical economics. These include,
                1) A belief that governments like NZ face a budget constraint (e.g can run out of money).
                2) A belief that governments should respond to financial crisis by cutting back spending.
                3) A belief that governments deficits must ultimately drive inflation up.
                4) A belief that full-employment can be achieved purely by using monetary policy (e.g the NAIRU rate of unemployment is a full employment level of unemployment).

                Labour has endorsed all these through current and prior policies, at least since the time when Roger Douglas became minister for Finance.

                For example,
                * The Cullen fund is the government stoking its investment reserves in order to avoid running a later deficit.
                * The last term they campaigned on a policy to up the retirement age, because they believe the country can’t afford the present age.
                * Labours Kiwisaver policy is primarily a way to get pensioners income off the government books, and to be self dependent.
                * Labour has constantly criticized the National government for running a deficit in response to the financial crisis, and highlighted that they ran surpluses themselves.
                * Labour promised to get back into surplus faster that National during the previous election campaign.
                * Labour is constantly looking for ways to increase their tax take, based on a desire to spend more, clearly they don’t understand that the tax take doesn’t need to increase for more social spending to go ahead.
                * Labour in no way modified how treasury functions with regard to spending and the level of employment, from the present government.

                • Paul

                  People denying Labour’s capture by neo-liberal forces are in denial.
                  It is sad to see their inability to admit this.

                  • McFlock

                    And people who insist that Labour are full of neolibs are fllowing the fine left wing tradition of damning their closest political neighbours as their worst enemies.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Labour is full of neolibs. Where is the socialist wing of the Labour Party? Exactly: it doesn’t exist.

                    • McFlock

                      So if you’re not a socialist you must be a neoliberal?

                      So, looking at your track record, CV, how long do you think it will be before you solemnly declare yourself the only true leftie on the planet, and the other seven billion of us are neoliberals (except putin because he’s ever so manly)?

                • McFlock

                  1) A belief that governments like NZ face a budget constraint (e.g can run out of money).

                  That’s a belief hardly restricted to Rogernome neoliberals. It’s actually pretty reasonable

                  2) A belief that governments should respond to financial crisis by cutting back spending.

                  Not sure that applies to the current Labour party.

                  3) A belief that governments deficits must ultimately drive inflation up.

                  see 2

                  4) A belief that full-employment can be achieved purely by using monetary policy (e.g the NAIRU rate of unemployment is a full employment level of unemployment).

                  Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment is calculated by treasury etc for nz at 6-8% of unemployment. The current and previous nats ran that level, Lab5 didn’t.

                  * The Cullen fund is the government stoking its investment reserves in order to avoid running a later deficit.
                  * The last term they campaigned on a policy to up the retirement age, because they believe the country can’t afford the present age.
                  * Labours Kiwisaver policy is primarily a way to get pensioners income off the government books, and to be self dependent.

                  All of that is a bit like the EQC, saving up for a rainy day (in the case of the cullen fund, the supposed demographic bubble). The EQC was formed in 1945. By your logic the first Labour government was neoliberal.

                  * Labour has constantly criticized the National government for running a deficit in response to the financial crisis, and highlighted that they ran surpluses themselves.
                  * Labour promised to get back into surplus faster that National during the previous election campaign.
                  * Labour is constantly looking for ways to increase their tax take, based on a desire to spend more, clearly they don’t understand that the tax take doesn’t need to increase for more social spending to go ahead.

                  Labour is criticising national for running a deficit in order to give tax cuts to the rich. That’s different to arguing for economic retrenchment in response to an economic downturn. Labour wants a bigger tax take to provide more services.

                  * Labour in no way modified how treasury functions with regard to spending and the level of employment, from the present government.

                  what do you mean by “how treasury functions with regard to spending and the level of employment”?

                  • RedLogix

                    That’s a belief hardly restricted to Rogernome neoliberals. It’s actually pretty reasonable

                    Only superficially reasonable until you ask the question – where does money come from?

                  • Nic the NZer

                    “That’s a belief hardly restricted to Rogernome neoliberals. It’s actually pretty reasonable”

                    Its not pretty reasonable it’s bunk. The NZ government literally operates the only institution which creates NZ dollars. It can’t run out of them. The optimal level of government spending (and taxation) has nothing to do with government surplus or deficit. Its to do with the economic outcomes which the government achieves by it.

                    “Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment is calculated by treasury etc for nz at 6-8% of unemployment. The current and previous nats ran that level, Lab5 didn’t”

                    So you can point to any times when Labour ran lower than the NAIRU rate calculated contemporaneously? Note the NAIRU (despite being alleged to be a structural rate) appears to just track current unemployment with a lag.

                    “By your logic the first Labour government was neoliberal.”

                    It would depend on the overall balance of their policies, where the focus is. I have gone through a decent list of the Labour headlines here of course.

                    “Labour is criticising national for running a deficit in order to give tax cuts to the rich. That’s different to arguing for economic retrenchment in response to an economic downturn. ”

                    The National party Tax/GST changes don’t add up to the deficit. They were probably around fiscally neutral on balance (they were expected to be fiscally neutral), this leaves Labour arguing for economic retrenchment in response to the (ongoing) economic downturn.

                    “Labour wants a bigger tax take to provide more services.”

                    This is premised on your belief in 1) of course.

                    “how treasury functions with regard to spending and the level of employment”

                    Treasury forecasts and the budgeting process set limits on the amount of deficit spending that the government does in order to keep the level of unemployment above the NAIRU rate, essentially. Its hardly a surprise that this is left unexplained by the government of the day (that they have calculated an ideal level of unemployment, and no there will not be enough jobs to go around actually).

                    • McFlock

                      “That’s a belief hardly restricted to Rogernome neoliberals. It’s actually pretty reasonable”

                      Its not pretty reasonable it’s bunk. The NZ government literally operates the only institution which creates NZ dollars. It can’t run out of them. The optimal level of government spending (and taxation) has nothing to do with government surplus or deficit. Its to do with the economic outcomes which the government achieves by it.

                      I agree that government spending reflects the will of the government, but to argue that because NZ creates dollars has a limitless supply of cash on hand is bullshit. When Spain had a massive supply of silver from America that the rest of europe didn’t have access to, all that happened was the Spanish pissed it away so much that the price of silver plummeted.

                      “Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment is calculated by treasury etc for nz at 6-8% of unemployment. The current and previous nats ran that level, Lab5 didn’t”

                      So you can point to any times when Labour ran lower than the NAIRU rate calculated contemporaneously? Note the NAIRU (despite being alleged to be a structural rate) appears to just track current unemployment with a lag.

                      Most of the fifth labour government had an unemployment rate below 6%.

                      “By your logic the first Labour government was neoliberal.”

                      It would depend on the overall balance of their policies, where the focus is. I have gone through a decent list of the Labour headlines here of course.

                      You’ve cherry=picked a few Labour policies and beliefs that you ascribe to Labour. It still looks to me like labour now are nowhere near rogernomes, so aren’t “far right” as CV called them.

                      “Labour is criticising national for running a deficit in order to give tax cuts to the rich. That’s different to arguing for economic retrenchment in response to an economic downturn. ”

                      The National party Tax/GST changes don’t add up to the deficit. They were probably around fiscally neutral on balance (they were expected to be fiscally neutral), this leaves Labour arguing for economic retrenchment in response to the (ongoing) economic downturn.

                      Lol “fiscally neutral” – now who’s repeating tory memes? If the lower money out is the same as the GST increase, do I really need to explain the regressive effects of GST?

                      “Labour wants a bigger tax take to provide more services.”

                      This is premised on your belief in 1) of course.

                      A bit like your belief that magic money can be printed without taking into account devaluation effects.

                      “how treasury functions with regard to spending and the level of employment”

                      Treasury forecasts and the budgeting process set limits on the amount of deficit spending that the government does in order to keep the level of unemployment above the NAIRU rate, essentially. Its hardly a surprise that this is left unexplained by the government of the day (that they have calculated an ideal level of unemployment, and no there will not be enough jobs to go around actually).

                      Treasury forecasts are well known for what they are. Labour got rid of a lower minimum wage expressly for young workers even though treasury forecast an increase in youth unemployment.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Seems some progress has been made,

                      “I agree that government spending reflects the will of the government, but to argue that because NZ creates dollars has a limitless supply of cash on hand is bullshit.”

                      It clearly means exactly that. This is quite important to understand from a rhetorical point of view as it changes the argument substantially. You are no longer talking about some kind of hard limit which might be imposed by bankruptcy, but the need for the government to regulate its policy based on the consequences of its spending. These include all of inflation, foreign exchange and employment consequences. But the onus is now on your position to demonstrate that for some level of spending negative consequences will likely occur in fact.

                      Note, using an example from currency system based on silver (a commodity) is probably a poor analogy for sovereign currency because you now need to take into account that silver is in common use by several countries at the time. This has effects on the exchange rate. Its unlikely that sovereign currencies work like this as most of the product which can be purchased in say NZ$ comes from NZ.

                      “Most of the fifth labour government had an unemployment rate below 6%.”

                      The NAIRU was below 6% for their term. Here are some estimates, they fluctuate over time. http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2004/04-10/06.htm#_TocF2

                      “Lol “fiscally neutral” – now who’s repeating tory memes? If the lower money out is the same as the GST increase, do I really need to explain the regressive effects of GST?”

                      Clearly fiscally neutral simply means they traded the amount of tax they collect from income over to GST. This would probably have influenced the further direction of the economy, absolutely. But saying that all or almost all of the deficit can be attributed to the taxation change, or even the downward effects of the tax change, is incorrect. NZ would still have a large deficit if this tax policy had not been applied, but other policy had. You do know what fiscally neutral literally means right?

                      “A bit like your belief that magic money can be printed without taking into account devaluation effects.”

                      No, just run of the mill high powered money, and the onus is on your position to show that the devaluation effects will likely occur. At present NZ has inflation at the low end of the target range, and is trying to run a surplus. Given your own opinions, being presently demonstrated, why would Labour do any different?

                      “Labour got rid of a lower minimum wage expressly for young workers even though treasury forecast an increase in youth unemployment.”

                      Relevance?

                      It would be much better if you stopped extrapolating straw men out of what I have said, and take it to mean what is says, neither more nor less.

                    • McFlock

                      “I agree that government spending reflects the will of the government, but to argue that because NZ creates dollars has a limitless supply of cash on hand is bullshit.”

                      It clearly means exactly that. This is quite important to understand from a rhetorical point of view as it changes the argument substantially. You are no longer talking about some kind of hard limit which might be imposed by bankruptcy, but the need for the government to regulate its policy based on the consequences of its spending. These include all of inflation, foreign exchange and employment consequences. But the onus is now on your position to demonstrate that for some level of spending negative consequences will likely occur in fact.

                      Funny, I thought that the onus was on you to support the idea that Labour is neoliberal.
                      Ok, so let’s say that the government issues 200 billion NZ$ in order to pay for a space programme next year. Unlimited supply of money, fine. So now what happens to the economy, in your opinion? At least citizens of Weimar had a plentiful supply of toilet paper.

                      Note, using an example from currency system based on silver (a commodity) is probably a poor analogy for sovereign currency because you now need to take into account that silver is in common use by several countries at the time. This has effects on the exchange rate. Its unlikely that sovereign currencies work like this as most of the product which can be purchased in say NZ$ comes from NZ.

                      Nope. Silver or gold currencies don’t have an exchange rate, because they are worth that weight of silver. The point I was making was simply that when you have a means of exchange, the value of that means of exchange is related to its scarcity. The practical supply needs to be restricted in order for the currency to act as a currency – dramatic oversupply would simply lead to the end of its utility as a currency.

                      “Most of the fifth labour government had an unemployment rate below 6%.”

                      The NAIRU was below 6% for their term. Here are some estimates, they fluctuate over time. http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2004/04-10/06.htm#_TocF2

                      That wasn’t a forecast. Like most economists, Treasury are very good at ensuring the past matches their personal econo-religious doctrine.

                      “Lol “fiscally neutral” – now who’s repeating tory memes? If the lower money out is the same as the GST increase, do I really need to explain the regressive effects of GST?”

                      Clearly fiscally neutral simply means they traded the amount of tax they collect from income over to GST. This would probably have influenced the further direction of the economy, absolutely. But saying that all or almost all of the deficit can be attributed to the taxation change, or even the downward effects of the tax change, is incorrect. NZ would still have a large deficit if this tax policy had not been applied, but other policy had. You do know what fiscally neutral literally means right?

                      I do. They weren’t.
                      No, the deficit is not entirely due to national party tax cuts. I never said it was. But the nat cuts and the cullen cuts didn’t exactly help, did they?

                      “A bit like your belief that magic money can be printed without taking into account devaluation effects.”

                      No, just run of the mill high powered money, and the onus is on your position to show that the devaluation effects will likely occur. At present NZ has inflation at the low end of the target range, and is trying to run a surplus. Given your own opinions, being presently demonstrated, why would Labour do any different?

                      Oh, now money varies in power?

                      “Labour got rid of a lower minimum wage expressly for young workers even though treasury forecast an increase in youth unemployment.”

                      Relevance?

                      Simply that Labour do not universally obey Treasury dictats, and therefore that your comment about Treasury setting “limits” on government economic policy isn’t particularly accurate.
                      Treasury is extremely right wing – Labour aren’t.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “Ok, so let’s say that the government issues 200 billion NZ$ in order to pay for a space programme next year. Unlimited supply of money, fine. So now what happens to the economy, in your opinion? ”

                      What happens would depend on the capacity of the economy to produce a space program (and nothing I have said indicates 200 billion is anything but a ridiculus hysterical figure you made up). But no doubt the parts of the economy which were stretched to capacity would raise prices and a lot of people would be employed in the space program. Unless the economy is presently running at full capacity then there is currently room for the government to spend more and provide more jobs, which means not running a surplus in these circumstances. But this is not to do with the quantity of money, the quantity theory of money (which you are alluding to) is originally a central part of monetarism. You may be trying to convince people that Labour is not neo-liberal, but what you are showing is that you have strong and deep seated neo-liberal ideas yourself.

                      “Silver or gold currencies don’t have an exchange rate, because they are worth that weight of silver. ”

                      They have an exchange rate for every currency which maintains convertibility then don’t they.

                      “The point I was making was simply that when you have a means of exchange, the value of that means of exchange is related to its scarcity. The practical supply needs to be restricted in order for the currency to act as a currency – dramatic oversupply would simply lead to the end of its utility as a currency.”

                      Really? You are aware that the inflation theory this implies demands that ‘rational’ economic agents respond to the quantity of money, or even high powered money. Most economic agents (people) are not even aware how much the government spends or is in debt. Your theory is about as in feasible as the efficient markets hypothesis and has bugger all evidence going for it. Its not even the theory used by central banks these days. Central banks target the rate money is loaned at not its quantity.

                      “That wasn’t a forecast. Like most economists, Treasury are very good at ensuring the past matches their personal econo-religious doctrine.”

                      You keep claiming that by keeping the unemployment rate below 6% Labour kept the unemployment rate below the NAIRU. This depends on the NAIRU being 6% or there abouts, which it wasn’t. You are incorrect.

                      “Oh, now money varies in power?”

                      Its a standard term, look it up.

                    • McFlock

                      (and nothing I have said indicates 200 billion is anything but a ridiculus hysterical figure you made up).

                      If we have a limitless money supply, 200billion is at the lower end of the potential. A UBI that several authors here advocate might cost $40billion a year. Hell, let’s just create 50trillion a year and be the richest nation on the planet.

                      Unless the economy is presently running at full capacity then there is currently room for the government to spend more and provide more jobs, which means not running a surplus in these circumstances. But this is not to do with the quantity of money, the quantity theory of money (which you are alluding to) is originally a central part of monetarism. You may be trying to convince people that Labour is not neo-liberal, but what you are showing is that you have strong and deep seated neo-liberal ideas yourself.

                      lol
                      That would be one of those irregular verbs: I build straw men from your statements, whereas you say my statements are “alluding to” something random.

                      Even Keynes suggested reductions in interest rates as part of a solution to a downturn. Was he a neoliberal, too? The first Labour government raised taxed to finance their spending – were they neoliberals, too?

                      “Silver or gold currencies don’t have an exchange rate, because they are worth that weight of silver. ”

                      They have an exchange rate for every currency which maintains convertibility then don’t they.

                      Nope. There is no “exchange rate” because one currency is not exchanged for another, it’s a universal currency by weight of silver.

                      “The point I was making was simply that when you have a means of exchange, the value of that means of exchange is related to its scarcity. The practical supply needs to be restricted in order for the currency to act as a currency – dramatic oversupply would simply lead to the end of its utility as a currency.”

                      Really? You are aware that the inflation theory this implies demands that ‘rational’ economic agents respond to the quantity of money, or even high powered money. Most economic agents (people) are not even aware how much the government spends or is in debt. Your theory is about as in feasible as the efficient markets hypothesis and has bugger all evidence going for it. Its not even the theory used by central banks these days. Central banks target the rate money is loaned at not its quantity.

                      People notice when silver plummets in value, or a loaf of bread costs a billion marks. So they use someo ther currency or barter instead.

                      “That wasn’t a forecast. Like most economists, Treasury are very good at ensuring the past matches their personal econo-religious doctrine.”

                      You keep claiming that by keeping the unemployment rate below 6% Labour kept the unemployment rate below the NAIRU. This depends on the NAIRU being 6% or there abouts, which it wasn’t. You are incorrect.

                      If you want to demonstrate that treasury forecasts set limits on Labour policy, feel free to point to an actual forecast. A weather forecaster who told you is has been raining is always right. One who’ll tell you, accurately, how much it will rain tonight – that’s the one you want.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “If we have a limitless money supply, 200billion is at the lower end of the potential. A UBI that several authors here advocate might cost $40billion a year. Hell, let’s just create 50trillion a year and be the richest nation on the planet.”

                      We do (the government does) have a limitless money supply, however nothing I have written indicates that spending will never cause inflation. That’s where you just go off and create a straw man and then knock it down.

                      “That would be one of those irregular verbs: I build straw men from your statements, whereas you say my statements are “alluding to” something random.”

                      If your having trouble with english words I suggest a dictionary. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/allude

                      If your having trouble with theories I have referred to I suggest looking them up.
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantity_theory_of_money

                      “Even Keynes suggested reductions in interest rates as part of a solution to a downturn. Was he a neoliberal, too? The first Labour government raised taxed to finance their spending – were they neoliberals, too?”

                      I don’t remember implying that governments who manipulate interest rates are neo-liberal, or that governments which collect taxes are neo-liberal. You should make some attempt in future to make some sense because what you are saying is not particularly coherent and does not address the arguments I put.

                    • McFlock

                      you can do it for me – while you’re looking up the definition of “forecast”.

                      So, of your four characteristics of neoliberals, I think that Labour does indeed have “a belief that governments like NZ face a budget constraint”, although I don’t think the fear is so much of running out of money as it is trashing the economy. And I don’t think that fear is unique to neoliberals, as Lab1 also believed in budget constraints.

                      of the rest:

                      2) A belief that governments should respond to financial crisis by cutting back spending.

                      feel free to point to that in Labour policy

                      3) A belief that governments deficits must ultimately drive inflation up.

                      Given that ties in to 1), see above

                      4) A belief that full-employment can be achieved purely by using monetary policy (e.g the NAIRU rate of unemployment is a full employment level of unemployment).”

                      feel free to point to that in Labour policy

                    • Colonial Viper

                      McFlock, you’re illustrating exactly why the Left has been captured by the economic and monetary thinking frameworks of the Right.

                      Under these frameworks, it makes sense to cut NZ Super. It makes sense to under fund DHBs. It makes sense to make students pay more for their education.

                      As recent Labour policy attests to.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, it illustrates something else entirely.
                      25 years ago a few left wing parties recognised their shared objectives as well as their differences and joined together to keep a left wing voice in parliament even under an FPP system.

                      Now, apparently, anyone who doesn’t immediately accept the A+B theorem at face value is to be denounced as a “neoliberal”.

                      After all, several of these supposedly “neoliberal” ideas were apparently practised by the first Labour government, goddamned tories that they were…

                    • Nic the NZer

                      http://campaign.labour.org.nz/everything_is_paid_for_plus_we_re_in_surplus

                      The headline really says it all, but anyway from here.

                      1) Labour won’t spend without taxation,
                      “Make sure the highest income New Zealanders and corporations pay their fair share of tax so we can afford to invest in health, education, and upgrading the economy”

                      2) Labour won’t spend to increase employment,
                      “Limit operating spending from new policies to less than the new operating spending allowances projected in Budget 2014 plus the net increase in revenue resulting from new policies,”

                      4) See Lab5 term. Surpluses = leaving it entirely up to monetary policy to support employment.

                      3) Absolutely no criticism for Bill English many assertions and rhetoric that government spending will drive up inflation, and force interest rates up! Meanwhile inflation is still at the low end of the RBNZ targets and seems to be falling. They could be pointing to that for a start.

                      Or on Treasury as a constraint of Labour policy (even while in opposition),

                      https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/default/files/issues/labours_alternative_budget_0.pdf

                      “Underlying every number in this paper are Treasury’s projections for the economy and the Crown accounts; we haven’t created our own projections, simply laid the fiscal effects of our policies on top of Treasury’s”

                      So good old vanilla right wing economic constraint on Labour’s alternative budget. While in office of course they prepare the budget together (Gee, I wonder how that goes).

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “Now, apparently, anyone who doesn’t immediately accept the A+B theorem at face value is to be denounced as a “neoliberal”.”

                      I was quite explicit about what kind of policy is considered neo-liberal for this reason. Its not just policy I don’t agree with, its a particular kind policy, strongly aligned with main-stream economic thinking. I guess its not surprising that you don’t agree with this given your economic beliefs appear to align well enough with the same main-stream economic thinking and you don’t want to label yourself neo-liberal.

                      “After all, several of these supposedly “neoliberal” ideas were apparently practised by the first Labour government, goddamned tories that they were…”

                      As I clearly said multiple times its a combination not just one policy or idea. Another straw man argument by you, not an argument I have put forward.

                    • McFlock

                      1) Labour won’t spend without taxation,
                      “Make sure the highest income New Zealanders and corporations pay their fair share of tax so we can afford to invest in health, education, and upgrading the economy”

                      A tendency they’ve had since before the first Labour government.

                      2) Labour won’t spend to increase employment,
                      “Limit operating spending from new policies to less than the new operating spending allowances projected in Budget 2014 plus the net increase in revenue resulting from new policies,

                      reread the bit in italics, then refer to point 1 again.

                      4) See Lab5 term. Surpluses = leaving it entirely up to monetary policy to support employment.

                      Those two things do not equal each other. The first means money in is greater than money out. The second means not spending anything, just adjusting the OCR.

                      3) Absolutely no criticism for Bill English many assertions and rhetoric that government spending will drive up inflation, and force interest rates up! Meanwhile inflation is still at the low end of the RBNZ targets and seems to be falling. They could be pointing to that for a start.

                      Seriously? The evidence you have is that Labour haven’t criticised National in exactly the way you want, so that’s evidence they’re neoliberals?

                      Or on Treasury as a constraint of Labour policy (even while in opposition),

                      https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/default/files/issues/labours_alternative_budget_0.pdf

                      “Underlying every number in this paper are Treasury’s projections for the economy and the Crown accounts; we haven’t created our own projections, simply laid the fiscal effects of our policies on top of Treasury’s”

                      So good old vanilla right wing economic constraint on Labour’s alternative budget. While in office of course they prepare the budget together (Gee, I wonder how that goes).

                      Or it just says that even by the tory standards it’s a better budget than what national can deliver. That’s not neoliberal – that’s pointing out the nats are shit at their own game. If they hadn’t used underlying treasury projections, the they’d open themselves to claims they were using outlandish figures. That’s middle of the road, not far right.

                    • McFlock

                      I was quite explicit about what kind of policy is considered neo-liberal for this reason. Its not just policy I don’t agree with, its a particular kind policy, strongly aligned with main-stream economic thinking. I guess its not surprising that you don’t agree with this given your economic beliefs appear to align well enough with the same main-stream economic thinking and you don’t want to label yourself neo-liberal.

                      More of the “if not with us then against us” rhetoric.
                      So is “main-stream economic thinking” simply “neoliberal” then? I’m not so sure about that, what with Stiglitz, Piketty etc.

                      As I clearly said multiple times its a combination not just one policy or idea. Another straw man argument by you, not an argument I have put forward.

                      Did you miss my fraunhofer line comment?
                      The thing is that most of your examples of offending policy were practised by Lab1. So you actually are left with just one or two Labour policies that might be regarded as being to the right of the politico-economic spectrum.

                      If Labour were truly “far right”, they would have gone into minority coalition with the nats rather than tolerate the renationalisation of kiwirail or the founding of kiwibank. They would have continued privatisations, shrunk the size of the public service, and so on.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “So is “main-stream economic thinking” simply “neoliberal” then? I’m not so sure about that, what with Stiglitz, Piketty etc.”

                      Mostly it is. But I would suggest that economists like Stiglitz, Piketty could reasonably be excluded, mostly because they have mostly submitted criticism’s of it.

                      “Did you miss my fraunhofer line comment?”

                      No, I dismissed it. It makes little sense to say that you can’t differentiate between political parties because they all have policies dispersed across the political spectrum. Its also not true, if you believed it yourself you could not tell any difference between Labour and National (or any other political party) based on their policies (which are all purportedly scattered across the political spectrum). You clearly don’t believe that yourself.

                      “If Labour were truly “far right”, they would have gone into minority coalition with the nats rather than tolerate the renationalisation of kiwirail or the founding of kiwibank. They would have continued privatisations, shrunk the size of the public service, and so on.”

                      If politics was a pure competition in similar ideas, then maybe. But then again if that was what it was no doubt Labour would have gone into government with the Green’s rather than agreeing confidence and supply. What you are suggesting ‘would happen’ doesn’t seem like its a very good strategy for political parties in practice. Look at what has happened to the Lib Dems in the UK, or the Maori party in NZ when they go into coalition with the ‘other side’ it doesn’t usually work out very well at the next election.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “Labour won’t spend without taxation,” Fair enough this was not clear enough. I should have said,
                      Labour won’t commit to additional spending without additional taxation.

                      “Labour won’t spend to increase employment,”or this one should have been, Labour won’t commit additional spending to increase employment. Note, if your taxing as much as your additional spending (as Labour promises) then this means little to no net effect on employment. Put another way, however much employment the market is currently providing, that’s as much as your getting under Labour.

                      “Those two things do not equal each other. The first means money in is greater than money out. The second means not spending anything, just adjusting the OCR.”

                      If the government is running a surplus they are extracting spending from the economy and this leaves all support for employment up to monetary policy. No government can do zero spending annually, it simply doesn’t work (or happen).

                      “Or it just says that even by the tory standards it’s a better budget than what national can deliver. That’s not neoliberal – that’s pointing out the nats are shit at their own game. If they hadn’t used underlying treasury projections, the they’d open themselves to claims they were using outlandish figures. That’s middle of the road, not far right.” – McFlock

                      “Treasury is extremely right wing – Labour aren’t” – McFlock

                      What else do treasury do (which they are extremely right wing at) if its not economic budgets and forecasting?

                    • McFlock

                      “Did you miss my fraunhofer line comment?”

                      No, I dismissed it. It makes little sense to say that you can’t differentiate between political parties because they all have policies dispersed across the political spectrum. Its also not true,

                      Lucky that’s not the point of the analogy, then. Astrophysicists can differentiate between stars using Fraunhofer lines. To a certain degree that’s their main use: determining the composition of individual stars so we know more about those stars.

                      “If Labour were truly “far right”, they would have gone into minority coalition with the nats rather than tolerate the renationalisation of kiwirail or the founding of kiwibank. They would have continued privatisations, shrunk the size of the public service, and so on.”

                      If politics was a pure competition in similar ideas, then maybe. But then again if that was what it was no doubt Labour would have gone into government with the Green’s rather than agreeing confidence and supply. What you are suggesting ‘would happen’ doesn’t seem like its a very good strategy for political parties in practice. Look at what has happened to the Lib Dems in the UK, or the Maori party in NZ when they go into coalition with the ‘other side’ it doesn’t usually work out very well at the next election.

                      So Labour are “far right” in principle, just not in practise because that would lose them votes?

                    • McFlock

                      “Labour won’t spend without taxation,” Fair enough this was not clear enough. I should have said,Labour won’t commit to additional spending without additional taxation.
                      “Labour won’t spend to increase employment,”or this one should have been, Labour won’t commit additional spending to increase employment. Note, if your taxing as much as your additional spending (as Labour promises) then this means little to no net effect on employment. Put another way, however much employment the market is currently providing, that’s as much as your getting under Labour.

                      Unless money is taxed from unproductive areas like capital gains and people on high incomes and given to people who immediately recirculate most of their money into local spending rather than hoarding it or betting on the stockmarket. Take the money from the money sinks and redistribute it back through the regions.

                      “Those two things do not equal each other. The first means money in is greater than money out. The second means not spending anything, just adjusting the OCR.”

                      If the government is running a surplus they are extracting spending from the economy and this leaves all support for employment up to monetary policy. No government can do zero spending annually, it simply doesn’t work (or happen).

                      Taxing the rich extracts corporate investment money from the economy, and giving it to the poor injects spending money because poor people spend all their income often within the week they get it.

                      “Or it just says that even by the tory standards it’s a better budget than what national can deliver. That’s not neoliberal – that’s pointing out the nats are shit at their own game. If they hadn’t used underlying treasury projections, the they’d open themselves to claims they were using outlandish figures. That’s middle of the road, not far right.” – McFlock
                      “Treasury is extremely right wing – Labour aren’t” – McFlock
                      What else do treasury do (which they are extremely right wing at) if its not economic budgets and forecasting?

                      You sort of miss the point that Labour overlaid their plans for housing market reform, expanding free primary healthcare, R&D tax credits, and power market reform and all the rest of it on top of treasury’s bunk forecasts and it still added up better than National managed. Many of the individual policies are anathema to the neolib userpays mentality.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “To a certain degree that’s their main use: determining the composition of individual stars so we know more about those stars”

                      You’d want to be careful about this analogy of course, taken too far it could be that Labour has neo-liberal materials making it up. We might detect this based on policies it ’emits’.

                      Using physics analogies to ‘model’ politics is of course of pretty limited value. My main point is that the notion political parties just form together based on wanting to implement their policies (which of course they are always truthful about) is not correct and simplistic. Labour and National will always see themselves and act in competition, and some significant examples of parties going with the other side have resulting in follow up routes. If its reasonable politics or not, ‘turn-coat’ parties frequently lose a large chunk of support.

                      “So Labour are “far right” in principle, just not in practise because that would lose them votes?”

                      This seems to be where your going wrong, the mainstream of economics is not the ‘far right’ of politics. It is neo-liberal however which is as I stated in my earliest comments neo-classical economics. I heard a statement recently, from economics circles, to the effect of, that there had been no ‘left-wing’ appointments in NZ university economics departments in the last 20 years or so. This also accords with things as I put them.

                      “Unless money is taxed from unproductive areas like capital gains and people on high incomes and given to people who immediately recirculate most of their money into local spending rather than hoarding it or betting on the stockmarket. Take the money from the money sinks and redistribute it back through the regions”

                      Good luck with that. I think you will find that standard income tax is not nearly so specific about what is collected, or progressive in action.

                      “Taxing the rich extracts corporate investment money from the economy, and giving it to the poor injects spending money because poor people spend all their income often within the week they get it”

                      Maybe, its still doesn’t provide as much stimulation as not adding any taxes and spending the money anyway, however. Its also very difficult to use government policy to target spending effectively because government policies are by necessity quite a blunt instrument.

                      “You sort of miss the point that Labour overlaid their plans for housing market reform, expanding free primary healthcare, R&D tax credits, and power market reform and all the rest of it on top of treasury’s bunk forecasts and it still added up better than National managed. Many of the individual policies are anathema to the neolib userpays mentality”

                      What do you mean by added up better? Nobody really knows what’s going to happen when the budget is implemented. Labour had a large tax component in its policies, maybe the economy will react particularly negatively to the additional taxation and tank resulting in higher unemployment under Labour than we have today. Anyway if you are following Treasury on this then the overall fiscal balance is at best long run neutral, so your over-all fiscal balance is effectively neo-liberal economic policy.

                      I am reliably informed that before the Douglas era, governments used to follow Keynesian prescriptions and those included not paying as much attention to the surplus/deficit as to the unemployment/employment rate (and that was during an era of fixed exchange rates to boot). As I see it any party which perpetuates that has sold its political soul to the neo-liberals and will continue to be a part of the problem (regardless of its intentions).

                    • McFlock

                      “To a certain degree that’s their main use: determining the composition of individual stars so we know more about those stars”

                      You’d want to be careful about this analogy of course, taken too far it could be that Labour has neo-liberal materials making it up. We might detect this based on policies it ’emits’.

                      Of course it does. The Chairman, for example, pointed out that Labour did some work on PPPs. But as you have noted it’s not down to one policy “element”, it’s the full package – I’m sure if we squint hard we’d find some left wing “elements” as well.

                      Using physics analogies to ‘model’ politics is of course of pretty limited value. My main point is that the notion political parties just form together based on wanting to implement their policies (which of course they are always truthful about) is not correct and simplistic. Labour and National will always see themselves and act in competition, and some significant examples of parties going with the other side have resulting in follow up routes. If its reasonable politics or not, ‘turn-coat’ parties frequently lose a large chunk of support.

                      But on the other hand, the full neoliberal governments of the last thirty years implement their policy objectives with very little compromise for electability or even the observed consequences of those policies. Douglas etc in Lab4. Shipley answering reporters’ questions about 1XXk unemployment with the desperate mantra “the market will correct itself”. Even the current nat government implements its policy without much compromise and operates the election campaigns in a manner disconnected from policy.

                      “So Labour are “far right” in principle, just not in practise because that would lose them votes?”

                      This seems to be where your going wrong, the mainstream of economics is not the ‘far right’ of politics. It is neo-liberal however which is as I stated in my earliest comments neo-classical economics. I heard a statement recently, from economics circles, to the effect of, that there had been no ‘left-wing’ appointments in NZ university economics departments in the last 20 years or so. This also accords with things as I put them.

                      Neo-liberal isn’t far right? You might want to tell that to CV.

                      “Unless money is taxed from unproductive areas like capital gains and people on high incomes and given to people who immediately recirculate most of their money into local spending rather than hoarding it or betting on the stockmarket. Take the money from the money sinks and redistribute it back through the regions”

                      Good luck with that. I think you will find that standard income tax is not nearly so specific about what is collected, or progressive in action.

                      It’s better than GST, even at current rates with current bands. So your “fiscally neutral” (not) tax cut still had a detrimental effect on employment.

                      “Taxing the rich extracts corporate investment money from the economy, and giving it to the poor injects spending money because poor people spend all their income often within the week they get it”

                      Maybe, its still doesn’t provide as much stimulation as not adding any taxes and spending the money anyway, however.

                      Indeed, if that weren’t the seed of its own problems (and believing that isn’t particularly right wing or neoliberal).

                      Its also very difficult to use government policy to target spending effectively because government policies are by necessity quite a blunt instrument.

                      Actually, they can be quite precise: you have unemployment in Northland, so you build roads and infrastructure in Northland. You increase benefits to the unemployed, and that money is immediately spent in predominantly economically depressed areas.

                      “You sort of miss the point that Labour overlaid their plans for housing market reform, expanding free primary healthcare, R&D tax credits, and power market reform and all the rest of it on top of treasury’s bunk forecasts and it still added up better than National managed. Many of the individual policies are anathema to the neolib userpays mentality”

                      What do you mean by added up better? Nobody really knows what’s going to happen when the budget is implemented. Labour had a large tax component in its policies, maybe the economy will react particularly negatively to the additional taxation and tank resulting in higher unemployment under Labour than we have today. Anyway if you are following Treasury on this then the overall fiscal balance is at best long run neutral, so your over-all fiscal balance is effectively neo-liberal economic policy.

                      I pay little attention to Treasury. And again, you seem to be calling balancing the government books a neolib fetish that wasn’t a concern prior to 1984. Is that your position, or are you arguing something else?
                      edit: “adding up better” – looking better than the nats in their own dogma, with less economic fudging, and still providing better social policy.
                      And besides, if capital flight occurs, good riddance to ’em /edit

                      I am reliably informed that before the Douglas era, governments used to follow Keynesian prescriptions and those included not paying as much attention to the surplus/deficit as to the unemployment/employment rate (and that was during an era of fixed exchange rates to boot). As I see it any party which perpetuates that has sold its political soul to the neo-liberals and will continue to be a part of the problem (regardless of its intentions).

                      Okay, if pre-Lange governments didn’t pay much attention to deficits, which of them had higher crown debt (gorss, net, absolute or %gdp, whatever makes you happy) levels than the current lot? And why did the second labour government bother with the “black budget” if it was happy to just print more cash?

                      BTW, just while I remember: thanks for the discussion – it has made me question some of my assumptions and look into knowledge gaps I hadn’t really noticed before. 🙂

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “It’s better than GST, even at current rates with current bands. So your “fiscally neutral” (not) tax cut still had a detrimental effect on employment.”

                      When I point to the fact they were (arguably) fiscally neutral I am not disputing that this shift towards GST had negative effects on employment.

                      “Okay, if pre-Lange governments didn’t pay much attention to deficits, which of them had higher crown debt (gorss, net, absolute or %gdp, whatever makes you happy) levels than the current lot?”

                      I don’t think looking at crown debt is a very good measure here, because it can start from low levels, or debt might not be issued. Ideally you can look at the deficit using something resembling modern accounting, but that gets more difficult the further back you go in time.

                      But this is a good reference with statistics to the sorts of policies I suggest. http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.co.nz/2011/09/keynesian-stimulus-in-new-zealand.html

                      It might also be noted how one of the main legacies of Muldoon was the think big projects, which were already much more Keynesian than the following Labour government.

                      “And why did the second labour government bother with the “black budget” if it was happy to just print more cash?”

                      The black budget was associated with a balance of payments crisis. This is usually associated with a need to devalue a fixed exchange rate. Similar things have been observed to occur for both fixed exchange rate mechanisms and gold/silver standard systems, where the government faces a difficult choice between devaluing or cutting back stimulus probably increasing unemployment.

                      Because NZ floats its exchange rate this is much less of a big deal for the NZ economy these days. The devaluation effects are less strong under a floating exchange rate because when speculators see a likely event of a devaluation they want to cash out immediately (rather than waiting for the devaluation) which puts additional drain on the reserves. So on a gold standard, if it becomes clear that the government is unable to maintain it and is likely to devalue, then speculators want to cash out immediately at the higher exchange rate and this drains gold out putting additional pressure on the exchange rate.

                      “And again, you seem to be calling balancing the government books a neolib fetish that wasn’t a concern prior to 1984. Is that your position, or are you arguing something else?”

                      This is absolutely my position, yes. Balancing the books is a neolib fetish. The IMF for example provides loads of documentation supporting this contention.

                      I think you subscribe to a theory of the institution of money which comes from the present main-stream of economics. If you are interested in how I reached my conclusions I suggest you look at this post. It explains the basics of how money works (as I see it) including why money is used to begin with.
                      http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=332
                      As I see it this theory is significantly superior in the scientific sense to the main-stream theory, and certainly testable.

                    • McFlock

                      sorry about the delay – been a bit busy to switch into the headspace.

                      Ok, so government deficits are apparently less important now because of the floating exchange rate. But that only removes the speculative crash with each manual devaluation – the currency still devalues if it is oversupplied, and this then requires inflationary effects because we’re in a global economy. So arguing that the money supply is “limitless” ignores the practical limits on the utility of the currency.

                      Secondly, if maintaining a balanced budget (e.g. to address the balance of payments) decreased in importance after floating the dollar, that only happened under Roger Douglas. So an alternative perspective is that rather than being “neoliberal”, the Labour (and, I’d suggest, the conventional NZ layperson’s view as to government fiscal competence being analogous to their household finances correct or not) might merely be “out of date”.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “But that only removes the speculative crash with each manual devaluation – the currency still devalues if it is oversupplied, and this then requires inflationary effects because we’re in a global economy. So arguing that the money supply is “limitless” ignores the practical limits on the utility of the currency.”

                      Yes, its possible for the exchange rate to fall, because of a plenty-full supply of currency. However there are many many much more significant effects on the foreign exchange markets than the deficit, and it tends to be largely self correcting anyway.

                      One important point about deficit spending and its effects on inflation is all spending creates exactly equivalent inflationary pressures. So when somebody borrows money to make a house purchase, this creates as much inflationary pressure as the equivalent amount of deficit spending.

                      No, pointing out its limitless, its just about making cogent arguments. The government has an unlimited budget so in order to justify restricting spending it needs to show the negative impacts of that spending. I didn’t claim at any stage that government spending has no effects on the exchange rate or inflation, but we need to look at the actual effects, not some fictitious belief that the budget should be balanced. If you look at some of the justifications for balanced budgets, e.g Ricardian Equivalence, NAIRU, Crowding Out, they are utterly ridiculous. Its only by hiding behind false household budget analogies that these ideas survive public scrutiny.

                      “So an alternative perspective is that rather than being “neoliberal”, the Labour (and, I’d suggest, the conventional NZ layperson’s view as to government fiscal competence being analogous to their household finances correct or not) might merely be “out of date””

                      It’s certainly wrong to believe that, but oddly it was better before this restraint was removed. This is part of why its important to explain the plain facts.

                  • The Chairman

                    @ McFlock

                    Wasn’t the KiwiRail buy back merely bailing out Toll? Thus, corporate welfare.

                    Anderton’s persistence led to Kiwibank.

                    Labour went on to introduce Public Private Partnerships. Suggesting they planned to continue privatizations.

                    • McFlock

                      Okay, now what would the fourth Labour government have done?

                      My guess is that they would have let the rail lines be sold for scrap and ignored Anderton.

                      Fair point on PPPs, but my argument has never been that Labour is very left wing. Just that it isn’t a bunch of far right zealots.

                • RedLogix

                  A well made argument Nic. Thank you.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Mockery of CV is an argument. An object of valid ridicule says what? Just like Penny Bright or Donald Trump: waiting for someone credible to say it.

              • Paul

                Labour is to the right of the political spectrum.
                It was moved there by Douglas and Prebble and has never returned to its roots.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Probably true. CV saying it makes matters worse. Sad and true.

                • McFlock

                  look, whether Labour is to the left of the right, or the right of the left, of the political spectrum is a reasonable argument if you can be bothered with it. The spectrum is broad and any party would have a package of policies that are like Fraunhofer lines, with collections of elements that might be conservative or liberal, left or right.

                  But CV said “far right”: the dwelling-ground of fascists, randian superheroes, and religious ultra-conservatives. Yeah, nah.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Quick question, which party has taken up the Labour election policy of raising the super age? Where do you rank them on the political spectrum in NZ?

                    • McFlock

                      and yet Lab5 still chose to implement Alliance and Green policies rather than forming a coalition with nact, such as renationalising kiwirail. Like I said, “any party would have a package of policies that are like Fraunhofer lines, with collections of elements that might be conservative or liberal, left or right”.

                      One policy makes neither a neolib nor a comm1e

                    • Nic the NZer

                      No, but it easy fit into ACT it clearly shows that the policy is pretty neo-liberal. It depends how many of these it has, as I see it too many of the headline policies.

                      In particular, if your party has a belief it has financial constraints dictated by the market, don’t complain when it implements pro-cyclical policies including retrenchment in response to economic downturns.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, nah, they might not be MJSavage, but they ain’t Forbes&Coates either.

                • Labour is to the right of the political spectrum.

                  If so, the centre and left of the political spectrum are good for maybe 10 per cent of the vote. In which case, either NZ is a utopia for the far right, or your concept of the political spectrum is completely fucked. I wonder which it is?

                  • ropata

                    Exactly PM. NZ is generally left-ish, most Kiwiblog readers are spewing that Key has (at least pretended to) steal loads of Labour policies (CGT, public transport, cycleways, paying teachers and nurses, not being fascist) and plastered the Gnats all over the middle of the voting spectrum

    • greywarshark 3.2

      The background of Nash is an example of something I have noticed about Labour and National. The children of politicians and connected functionaries find it a fertile area to advance themselves, using their parent’s connections and understandings. But they may not have their parent’s sense of allegiance to the core beliefs of the Party and its sense of some responsibility to the country and the people. Labour for instance has this Nash chap, descendant of a former Labour follower. Roger Douglas, another of these. I’m sure there are more.

      Thinking about it brought a part of a recently read novel to mind. It is by Ruth Rendell (Talking to Strange Men) and she explores the genesis of an amoral gang of youths and how a culture of immoral behaviour can develop. They are mostly male teenagers, the group is secret and select and has formed rules and methods that all use and comply with and loyalty is required.

      Rendell has the contender who has been handed the leadership thinking:
      “They would see some changes now. Mungo-style scruples… (of the previous leader)
      would have no place in the new regime. When you considered what could be accomplished with scruples, all that planning, information…how much more was possible when scruples were discarded?

      That code nonsense should go. It had always been artificial….The ban on what Mungo rather naively called ‘dishonesty’ – that must be the first to go. A kind of Mafia, Charles (new leader) decided he had in mind, but run by the cream of a rising generation, the country’s best brains, a youthful public school elite, headed by one who had already killed his man…(Charles had killed by pushing a man to fall down stairs but was safe from discovery as no-one had knowledge of it.)”

      • Hami Shearlie 3.2.1

        Stuart Nash is adopted – born a few months before Sir Walter Nash died – so he’s not a descendant by blood!

        • alwyn 3.2.1.1

          And just what is that supposed to mean?
          That is just about as silly as the British royalty rules that you have to have “Royal Blood”, whatever that is supposed to mean. Is it really blue, perhaps?
          I suppose you hate Bill Clinton because he was in fact adopted by a man named Clinton?

          • Anne 3.2.1.1.1

            Take your anti-hysteria pills alwyn.

            HS was stating a fact. Nothing more… nothing less.

            • McFlock 3.2.1.1.1.1

              A fact followed by an exclamation mark, so therefore some implied significance to that fact.

              Some folks get read a lot into the weirdest personal details, it seems.

          • Hami Shearlie 3.2.1.1.2

            Just a fact that not many people may know – I don’t hate anyone. Stuart Nash has been involved with adoption issues in the past in his parliamentary career, that’s all. Greywarshark had talked about Stuart Nash’s past, which was why I mentioned it. He talked about finding his birth mother in an article a good while back.

            It’s strange that “facts” are no longer allowed to be talked about. Maybe alwyn is taking the lead from the NZ Herald – they never let facts get in the way of a good “story” these days!

        • greywarshark 3.2.1.2

          I think that nurture is stronger than nature myself. The bringing up and attitudes embedded early make the difference I think.

          • Hami Shearlie 3.2.1.2.1

            I agree that nurture can sometimes seem stronger than nature – although some of the studies done on identical twins separated at birth and adopted by different families, who don’t even meet each other till they are grown yet share so many traits etc, makes me think that genetics are more powerful than we realise. The more we know, the more we realise how much we don’t know I guess!

  4. Penny Bright 4

    September 21, 2015

    Putin to Netanyahu: Russia’s Actions in Mideast Will Always Be Responsible

    TPS / Tazpit News Agency

    “…Putin also doubted Netanyahu’s suggestion that the Syrian government would open up a terrorist front against Israel.

    “In regard to Syria, we know that the Syrian army is in a situation such that it is incapable of opening a new front,” argued Putin.

    Although diplomatic relations between Israel and Russia have grown and advanced since the fall of the Soviet Union, significant differences remain between both countries on various Middle East issues.

    Russia maintains strong connections with Iran and Syria, both of which are enemy regimes of Israel.

    In contrast with Israel, Russia also views Syria’s President Basher al-Assad as a necessity for maintaining stability and order in Syria.

    Despite existing disagreements, both leaders assured the other of maintaining good relations.

    “In all of the relations between us, whether I agreed and also when we differed, our discourse has always been conducted with mutual respect and openness,” Netanyahu told Putin.

    While Putin made it clear that Russia’s “main goal is to defend the Syrian state,” he also expressed a cordial greeting to Netanyahu.

    “I understand your concern and I am very pleased that you have come here to discuss all issues in detail,” Putin said to Netanyahu. …”

    Interesting …..

    Is Russia going to buy Israeli goods to help replace those that they may longer buy from Turkey?

    So Russia does not support the BDS campaign?

    Penny Bright

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Mayoral candidate cowers from climate change scrutiny.

      The mayor of Auckland has fuck-all foreign policy responsibilities.

    • Would Putin be so cordial should Netanyahu ever decide to bomb Iran – a nation which I think he genuinely hates?

      • greywarshark 4.2.1

        Robert Glennie
        Political policy must be fleet of foot in this era of hypocricy, loud statements, quiet counter-plots, avowed intentions and obvious contradictory actions. One must no doubt, tread softly, usually, with a pocketed velvet covered knuckleduster. Also be prepared to be flexible in order to survive. What cordial would you serve at the high-level meetings?

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.2

        Would Putin be so cordial should Netanyahu ever decide to bomb Iran

        Putin would work through the situation diplomatically. Put it this way: Israel hates Hezbollah and Iran with a vengeance – but Russia has helped convinced Israel not to strike at Hezbollah and Iranian fighters taking on ISIS in the north of Syria.

        That’s Russian diplomacy at work.

        In any event, Putin will do what ever is good for Russia.

  5. red-blooded 5

    Interesting set of interviews and discussions on Q+A this morning. JK got grilled reasonably thoroughly about a Colmar Brunton poll about things most NZers are concerned about (pay rates, job security etc) and when Michelle Boag tried to skew the following discussion by saying that people were only allowed to rank pre-selected issues, jose Pagani managed to make the point that the poll process included a pre-poll which identified the issues that the later poll saw ranked.

    I can’t say that I was as impressed later in the show when she seemed to (STILL) by backing Shane Jones to head the Labour Party, though. After an interview with Jones about Pacific issues (no mention of climate change), panellists were asked where they saw him in 5 years. Pagani answered “”Leader of a social democratic party – possibly the Labour Party”. Get over it, Jose!

    • millsy 5.1

      Shane seems to confuse industry and jobs with pimping us out to big business.

      I would have him as a good bet to pop up in NZ First though.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Shane seems to confuse industry and jobs with pimping us out to big business.

        That is pretty much what both National and Labour have been doing for the last thirty years.

    • Hami Shearlie 5.2

      I don’t think many women would be too thrilled with Shane Jones as Labour’s Leader! He is sleazy and slippery and sly imho!

    • Paul 5.3

      Pagani does not represent left wing thinking.
      She is given a pulpit because she is what the establishment wants the Labour Party to be.
      The term fifth columnist comes to mind.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Debt and Security – A social liberal response to the spending review

    The first claim made over the last five years, both during coalition and now whilst governing alone, is that the economy is made inherently stronger if public spending is constrained and if high levels of public debt can be avoided.

    The problem with that claim is that the evidence appears to show that an economy can be made weaker with the state improving its finances at the expense of its citizens. As consumers move into debt, either to finance large costs or simply because their disposable income no longer allows them to meet all their needs, household debt rises to dangerous levels that the OECD associates with an increased risk of recession.

    TL;DR

    Government going in to surplus weakens and eventually destroys the economy.

  7. joe90 7

    Here’s hoping there’s confirmation on the way.

    A Swiss newspaper is reporting that imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi could have his sentence of 1,000 lashes suspended, but Amnesty International has yet to confirm the news.

    The Swiss Secretary of Foreign Affairs Yves Rossier told the Fribourg daily newspaper La Liberté that Badawi’s sentence was suspended.

    “A royal pardon is in the works thanks to the head of state, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,” he said.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/raif-badawi-sentence-suspended-swiss-official-1.3341687

  8. Ed 8

    There’s certainly something evident from the following article – it’s either the blatant racism we saw in New Zealand where there are no housing problems (and those are the official government view), or its something we haven’t seen here for some time – plain old fashioned honesty in reporting!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/business/international/chinese-cash-floods-us-real-estate-market.html

    Come to think of it, our government promised that we would get some better reporting on sales to overseas investors – I wonder how that is going?

  9. Tracey 10

    “Loo explained in a posting on the Labour-aligned political blog, The Standard”

    Chris Trotter failing to comprehend the difference between the labour movement and Labour. He is not the first of course. But it isnt a difficult concept

  10. Draco T Bastard 11

    How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce

    Internally, however, Walmart considered the group enough of a threat that it hired an intelligence-gathering service from Lockheed Martin, contacted the FBI, staffed up its labor hotline, ranked stores by labor activity, and kept eyes on employees (and activists) prominent in the group. During that time, about 100 workers were actively involved in recruiting for OUR Walmart, but employees (or associates, as they’re called at Walmart) across the company were watched; the briefest conversations were reported to the “home office,” as Walmart calls its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

    As I’ve said before, the real problem of mass surveillance isn’t the government but the corporations. They will watch everything that you do and take action against you and you won’t even know.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      “As I’ve said before, the real problem of mass surveillance isn’t the government but the corporations”

      Even if you are correct – which I have my doubts about – the ongoing melding of governmental and corporate power will make the point moot.

  11. One Anonymous Bloke 12

    Tory terrorism and personal responsibility. Right wing lies don’t just kill New Zealand children.

  12. Herodotus 14

    We were told by john key on q&a to support the success on our economy that we have experienced pay increases of 3% on average, this being well above the inflation rate. Then how come we see such articles as :
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/opinion/68640796/NZ-teachers-deserve-a-decent-pay-rise
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/73766181/ross-henderson-department-of-conservation-workers-taking-a-stance
    The response from DOC management would be laughable, were it not such a serious issue. They initially offered just a 0.4 per cent increase in pay.
    Perhaps we will see our govt ministers accepting without any opposition of pay increases for 3% to the public sector 🤑🤑

  13. Sacha 15

    “We were told by john key on q&a to support the success of our economy that we have experienced pay increases of 3% on average”

    Note the last 2 words. The average goes up a lot when a small group of CEOs get massive rises, but it means nothing for the minimum-wage people who clean their offices. This govt have form for lying about stats.

  14. ropata 16

    SMH has a fascinating piece on the demise of the Abbott administration.
    Shirtfronted: Loyalty, power and the plan to replace a Prime Minister
    Can’t wait for the NZ version to take place…

    Shirtfronted: Loyalty, power and the plan to replace a Prime Minister. https://t.co/ES9YpE7c5T pic.twitter.com/xK2PeBqYDO— Alex Coleman (@ShakingStick) November 29, 2015

  15. Ron 17

    Yet another Key success story bites the dust. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/74534581/2000-broken-hopes-at-failed-wellington-call-centre
    And it is possible that the staff once again will miss out on wages etc. Isn’t amazing how many firms seem to close just before Christmas

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