Open mike 30/12/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 30th, 2015 - 176 comments
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176 comments on “Open mike 30/12/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    Susan St John: Child poverty measures short-change families

    ‘A shameful disparity between the treatment of children in families who can work enough paid hours, and those children whose families cannot, means in practice New Zealand has two classes of low-income children. The “in work” worthy can be supported to the full extent of the social security legislation, and the children of the unworthy, the outcasts: beneficiaries, disproportionately the disabled, Maori or Pasifika, many with chronic illness, are consigned to remain in poverty.

    The parents of the “undeserving children” may struggle in a casualised labour market, on low wages or with redundancies, or in the aftermath of disasters. Irrespective of the cause of low income, regardless of circumstance, all children could and should be afforded the same tax-funded child payments to ensure an adequate standard of living.’

  2. savenz 2

    When corporate ‘marketers’ take over charities…

    “The corporate takeover of the Red Cross: How a former AT&T exec gutted America’s most recognizable charity”

      • Lara 2.1.1

        I’m not sure their principles are actually what they say they are.

        I think they really are more about taking money for a cushy job that involves very little work.

        • Rosie

          Hi Lara. Thanks for your comments on the John Key/White Ribbon ambassador post by Kerero Pono yesterday. It was good to get a different view of the functioning of White Ribbon – the link about the “anti feminist” WR ambassador in Oz was an eye opener. What you have said has made me think differently about them.
          I’m still keeping an open mind and still have an expectation about them dropping Key – they absolutely must – but your words made sense and altered how I perceive White Ribbon.

  3. savenz 3

    “As part of her effort to run the Red Cross more like a business, McGovern recruited more than 10 former AT&T executives to top positions. The move stirred resentment inside the organization, with some longtime Red Cross hands referring to the charity as the “AT&T retirement program.’’

    McGovern laid out a vision to increase revenue through “consolidated, powerful, breathtaking marketing.”

    “This is a brand to die for,” she often said.

    Her team unveiled a five-year blueprint in 2011 that called for expanding the charity’s revenue from $3 billion to $4 billion. In fact, Red Cross receipts have dropped since then and fell below their 2011 level last year.”

    • weka 3.1

      If you want the best people you have to pay top dollar


      • Andre 3.1.1

        Pay peanuts, get monkeys. Pay more peanuts, get bigger monkeys.

        • Halfcrown

          “Pay peanuts, get monkeys. Pay more peanuts, get bigger monkeys.”

          I like it I have put that in my file of quotable quotes.

        • weka

          Very good Andre.

        • Draco T Bastard

          😈 😆

        • Andre

          Glad y’all like that. It may be the only original thought I’ve ever had. It was sparked a few years ago by reading a flurry of articles showing high executive pay and poor company performance were well correlated. And I suspect that’s probably true for charities as well.

          • Draco T Bastard

          • Once was Tim

            I think it holds true for CEO’s of gummint partmints too.
            Many years ago, we used to worry about a thing called the Peter Principle.
            Now we seem to worship incompetence.
            Actually, I think it holds true for Munsters of the Crown. The only thing that props them up (their invisible means of support) seems to be our MSM (who’re rules along the same lines)
            Stevie Ray Joyce, Pulla Bent, Soimun ‘Learnings’ Brudgizz, N. Tolley, etc.

            • Andre

              The underappreciated bit about the Peter Principle is that you could be confident that, once upon a time, your boss actually was good at something useful.

      • Tracey 3.1.2

        I bet on her first day she told the staff

        “Things are gonna change around here. We need to be more business like cos. we are not a cbarity.”

        Running NFP is NOT as simple as bringing i FP successes

  4. b waghorn 4
    Add $200 billion private debt to $100 government debt and you end up with $66k of debt per child woman and man. (Hopefully I got enough zeros in my calculations)
    Where does it end?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Under the present financial system – it doesn’t. Just keep adding those zeros.

      The only way to fix it is for the government to, essentially, write off the present system and replace it with one that actually works.

      • Lara 4.1.1

        Draco, have you read this one?

        Margrit Kennedy has done a fair amount of work with Bernard Lietar, who specialises (decades) in the field of money and how it works.

        This ebook from Ms Kennedy outlines an interest free demurrage system.

        The cool thing about demurrage is it reintroduces the incentive to loan, keeps the money supply stable and ensures existing money flows faster. The historic example of Worgl in Austria (it’s in the ebook) shows how well it can work.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I like the idea of demur-rage and believe it will come in to effect some time in the future. I just think that 0% interest loans need to come in first.

          I want to address this bit in the introduction of the book:

          For example, if you live in a village which relies entirely on barter, and you produce works of art but there is nobody to exchange your artwork with except the undertaker, you will soon have to change your occupation or leave.

          This is a fundamental misunderstanding of how societies work.

          A society that doesn’t use money would support the artist because they appreciate the art that they get to see. They may even go so far as to build art galleries to display it along with other artworks where everyone can go and view it as they choose.

          It’s of note that David Graeber in his Debt: The first 5000 years notes that no bartering economy, as postulated by the economists, has ever been found.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I should also point out that I’m working to stop people loaning out money as it results in all the money going to people who are already rich – exactly as that book points out.

  5. Gosman 5

    What an amazing level of cognitive dissonance expressed by the author of this article. They truly think that the recent election result in Venezuela has not fundamentally changed the game in that country.

    • Paul 5.1


    • Andre 5.2

      I’m honestly curious, Gosman. What’s with the Venezuela fetish?

      • Paul 5.2.1

        Yes, we never hear about Saudi Arabia, Turkey or El Salvador.

        • Stuart Munro

          Venezuela will be the line he is fed – I don’t think he comes up with his nonsense independently.

        • Reddelusion

          Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz to the power of 10 to the hundred

          The complete failure of socialism steering Pauly in the face , the answer move on nothing to see here. How many real world case studies do you need Pauly , capitalism has it failures nothing howerver to the scale of socialism, as Churchill rightly assessed capitalism is not perfect but it sure beats anything else

          • Draco T Bastard

            Capitalism only succeeds because of socialism. Without socialism capitalism would revert to its natural state – feudalism.

            And ATM capitalism is bringing about the 6th extinction event. Wiping out life on Earth can in no way be considered successful.

            A vast chunk of space rock crashes into the Yucatan Peninsula, darkening the sky with debris and condemning three-quarters of Earth’s species to extinction. A convergence of continents disrupts the circulation of the oceans, rendering them stagnant and toxic to everything that lives there. Vast volcanic plateaus erupt, filling the air with poisonous gas. Glaciers subsume the land and lock up the oceans in acres of ice.

            Five times in the past, the Earth has been struck by these kinds of cataclysmic events, ones so severe and swift (in geological terms) they obliterated most kinds of living things before they ever had a chance to adapt.

            Now, scientists say, the Earth is on the brink of a sixth such “mass extinction event.” Only this time, the culprit isn’t a massive asteroid impact or volcanic explosions or the inexorable drifting of continents. It’s us.

            • Once was Tim

              “Capitalism only succeeds because of socialism. Without socialism capitalism would revert to its natural state – feudalism.”

              Mmmmm, I must remember that (You bastard!). It’s actually very profound and exemplifies what’s gone wrong today (i.e. we’re on the ‘neo-feudal’ route).
              What’s your view: Do you think capitalism always leads to ‘crony-capitalism’? ( which is what we have, and what the likes of most trolls on here are pushing, as tho’ it was some sort of new religion. )

              It wasn’t that long ago (around the time of Roger and Ruth) that they were espousing the idea of competition being the be-all and end-all – you know….many players competing is beneficial to ‘the consumer’ – even in things like health and edge-a-kayshun. Now of course (aided and abetted by an utterly knobbled Commerce Commission), the tendency towards monopoly/duopoly positions is seen by the capitalists (read 1%ers and those that aspire to the 1% – such as Gosman and ilk) is somehow capitalism at work and is seen as Norman Normal.
              Really … they’re so full of shit private enterprise could make a killing off a sewage farm.

              • Draco T Bastard

                What’s your view: Do you think capitalism always leads to ‘crony-capitalism’?

                Yes as competition is detrimental to everyone competing whereas cooperating is beneficial to everyone cooperating. So, the capitalists cooperate to screw over the rest of us while encouraging the rest of us to compete with each other. The latter is done through government policies of high unemployment and cutting out the welfare state while lambasting us with the idea that having ‘choice’ is all that matters while hiding the fact that you don’t have a choice in who you’re actually buying from.

                • Once was Tim

                  I think you’re probably right (correct) @ Monsieur le Bastard.
                  I note you use the word ‘cooperating’.
                  (Foreign concept to most of the trolls that come in here from time to time and according to the roster – some even claiming ‘Christian values FFS – we have anew one, if you hadn’t noticed)
                  And I agree with you about their justifying their position with the idea of ‘choice’ being all important – problem being that they can’t then explain the tendency towards monopoly/duopoly structures that are inevitable. (Well, actually they can offer a few weasle words)

                  …… but then you’re just a ‘hard left’, kinsprissy-oriented, othered, fuckwit probably. You deserve to be locked up! :p

                  • Rosie

                    Good craic Draco and OWT. And, OWT, keep up the kooky way of speaking. I very much enjoy reading your comments. They are often lively, and always insightful.

                    Happy NY.

          • Paul

            Capitalism has its failures, including the minor issue of destroying the planet.
            You are assuming a lot about my own philosophy, btw.

            And the word is ‘staring.’
            Are you educated?

      • Gosman 5.2.2

        Because Venezuela represents the sort of ideas and policies that a large number if leftists here wish to pursue. The idea that society can somehow control markets and that you can legislate wealth and prosperity for all. If you read those more radical left wing proposals I doubt there would be many that a lot of people here would disagree with. However it us those same policies that are causing the problems the country is facing.

        • Andre

          Thanks. That helps me see where you’re coming from.

          Even though I still think you’re misinterpreting comments and opinions here. Except maybe Draco.

        • Ad

          It’s a one-commodity wonder. Without the wonder.

          But the one to watch is Brazil. Nasty fall ahead.

        • Stuart Munro


          I want something more like the New Zealand I grew up in – which worked and was humane. Venezuela is just a whipping boy for far-right trolls – you know nothing significant about it and care even less – you just think it supports your prejudices.

          The failures of socialist societies, like those of capitalist societies, are complex and not generalisable without an indepth knowledge of the context of each. Israeli kibbutzim fail for different reasons than Stalinism. Bill English’s economic failures only partially resemble Cameron’s – Cameron didn’t bet the farm on a dairy bubble.

          • alwyn

            “I want something more like the New Zealand I grew up in – which worked and was humane”
            From the things you put in other posts that sounds rather as if you grew up when Keith Holyoake was PM.
            Life was a bit boring but certainly quite comfortable under a four term National Government.
            On that basis John Key is going to come closest to providing those times again. Doesn’t that cheer you up?

            • Draco T Bastard

              John Key is rapidly taking us back to the 19th century or earlier and all of the ills that existed then.

            • Stuart Munro

              My family knew Holyoake – I had lunch with him once. And we wouldn’t have scum like Key on the porch, mate.

          • Reddelusion

            No Stuart the bs is all yours

            socialism as a theory has failed, a nice fuzzy and warm theory that makes you fell good, however as it has been proven time and time again it fail in practice to achieve its desired or predicted outcomes, It is thus a flawed theory and ideology and should be dispensed with. Interesting however as you demonstrate as with other flawed theories its proponents tend to hold on to them no matter what, flat earth society etc

            You look back at nz with rose tinted glasses, nz at the time as a command / mixed economy is another clear example of failed socialism, nz during the 50 60 70s was pretty bleak re choice and economic freedom, likewise opportunity. We funded our way of living by selling sheep and wool to Britain , once this door was closed we where pretty rooted, we kept it going by borrowing and paying farmers to produce lambs at a guaranteed price (Supplementary minimum prices) even though the price we sold product for to world markets was less.We Kept every one employed by running a bloated non productive state sector, e.g 40000 people working for kiwi rail, trucks not going more than 100 miles to maintain a state monopoly etc. We borrowed haevily to keep our so called utopia going. Eventually the world worked out what we where doing was not sustainable, hence the tap was turned off, normally how most socialist economies fail, they run out of other people’s money. Muldoon tried to keep the party going with price freezes, currency controls, think big ( all good socialist stuff) but eventually reality caught up and thank god for the 1984 labour government

            The world has problems but contrary to Draco and Paul I believe capitalism ( with better regulation where required) and human innovation released by free markets has a far better chance of solving these problems than a ideology that simply fails time after time

            • Paul

              Capitalism is destroying the Earth.
              Your belief system isn’t going to save the planet.

            • Stuart Munro

              You ignorant turd.

              Socialism preceded capitalism and continues to work and flourish even within the most dysfunctional capitalist societies. Public libraries, hospitals, post offices, police all reflect a communitarian approach which is successful, a necessary balancing influence. A healthy society runs mixed economies – both social and commercial.

              But you are an extremist as well as a fool – you seem to think that society, like Thatcher, doesn’t exist. and that it can and should be eliminated, more fool you. You have lost the plot – as has National. Political parties don’t get to eliminate society unless they become despotic, and a despotic party has no right to exist in a democracy. You are traitors, every one of you.

              Yes, National were truly lousy economic managers back in Holyoake’s day, and that hasn’t changed at all. But you have drifted a long, long, way right since then, without even learning the most basic things about how to run an economy. And now you have no redeeming social virtues to recommend you.

              Run along and play on kiwiblog with the rest of the parasites – and dream of an economy financed by selling Auckland houses to one another indefinitely.

              NZ has an abundance of natural resources, but none are as vast as the stupidity of National supporters.

              • Redelusion

                Calm down Stuart

                No one is saying government should not provide public goods, I am simply saying they have no part in prouctive sector, as is well demonstrated with the bulk of econonic activity now produced by the private sector and corporates globally, replacing the state over the last 50 years. the facts are the facts, capitalism has trumped socialism wether you like it or not, even so called Marxist states are going the same way

                Sheeeeeeesh what an angry we fella you are

                • Paul

                  Another meme

                  Can you actually debate a subject properly?

                  • Reddelusion

                    Paul when some one starts a response with you ignorant turd (which tends to say more about the sender than the receiver) can you please advise how I should respond, I can’t use your tried and true method any more, I thought I was been polite in simply highlighting Stuart may have some anger issues , I also note nor you or Stuart really countered anything I said. I guess it’s hard when you are trying to deny facts with a washed up idealogy and some mythical past where Santa existed all year round or the favourite default response “troll”

                    • Paul

                      I can’t be bothered debating with you.
                      Hence the sleep symbols.
                      You only come here to stir.
                      Please go home.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Then you’re even more of a fool.

                  States and commercial providers are both perfectly capable of providing public goods if scrupulously monitored & regulated.

                  Equally, both are capable of screwing up by the numbers if left to themselves or small interest groups.

                  Take Auckland housing. Could’ve been fixed by a state housing program. Could’ve been fixed by a well designed PPP model. Hasn’t been fixed by the clusterfuck Key kleptocracy.

                  As you say, facts are facts, and $105 billion worth of debt proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that this so-called government doesn’t have a clue.

                  Why you should think I, or anyone else on here is especially attached to Marxism I do not know – I guess your education never got much beyond Muldoon’s Reds under the Beds ad campaign. But just to put the record straight, extremes of capitalism, as practised post Reagan Thatcher etc, consistently underperform the mixed model that preceded it.

                  Stop lying to yourself and for gods sake learn a smattering of economics you ignorant sack of shit.

                  • Reddelusion

                    Happy new year to you to Stuart, [RL: Deleted. Reference to mental health and death insinuation not needed. ]

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Very few kiwis will have a happy new year thanks to the Key kleptocracy, but I’m sure your insincere good wishes make all the difference.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Could’ve been fixed by a well designed PPP model.

                    No it couldn’t as there’s no such thing as a good PPP model. Or, to put it another way, no commercial enterprise will sign up to a PPP model that actually does what’s needed for the right price as they’re be little or no profit in it.

                    Government doesn’t need the profit.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Virtually all ppps in the UK, Oz, and here are out and out rorts. In Korea however (where I spent most of the last decade) companies exist at the sufferance of the state and the worst ones will be broken up and their principals jailed if they play too fast and loose. My understanding is that not all Korean law is codified so that egregious wrongdoing gets you in trouble even if legislators did not anticipate it. Apart from the party linked companies, some of whose directors go to jail with every change of government, the larger companies negotiate with the state to avoid unpleasantness and for the most part actually perform as required. Serco is kind of the opposite of this. If Serco were in Korea the directors would not find prison radio gags especially entertaining, but of course they would not be able to listen to them, being behind bars.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      My understanding is that not all Korean law is codified so that egregious wrongdoing gets you in trouble even if legislators did not anticipate it.

                      Recalls to mind the MPs manual that John Key dismissed with the wave of his hand and the pronunciation that it was just a set of guidelines rather than law when he broke those guidelines in an immoral manner and declared it legal.

                      Basically, what I’m getting at here is that people look for ways, that are often immoral, to do things that aren’t covered by law that will net them a quick profit. Despite them knowing that doing it that way is immoral they’ll do it any way as it benefits them and they just don’t care who’s harmed. The actions of this guy spring to mind.

                      We need laws and, IMO, we need a general set of principles that the law is set upon that will catch immoral behaviour even if there isn’t a law covering a specific action. I believe that we’ve gone too far in specificity in our laws.

                • One Two

                  I am simply saying they have no part in prouctive sector, as is well demonstrated with the bulk of econonic activity now produced by the private sector and corporates globally, replacing the state over the last 50 years

                  No mention of the private frameworks which skewed the odds in their favour. Global rape of human & environmental resource exploitation

                  Finance and legal would be the two frameworks you’re either ignoring, or are ignorant of

                  Ignore , ignorant. Same same

            • Halfcrown

              “Eventually the world worked out what we where doing was not sustainable, hence the tap was turned off, normally how most socialist economies fail, they run out of other people’s money.”

              The number of times I have heard similiar shit about socialist are good at spending others money.

              Please enlighten us how does that equate to the Double Dipping Dickhead from Dipton borrowing now over a 100 billion dollars just to waste on the likes of tax cuts for the rich and social welfare for the likes of Warners, Jackson Reo Tinto and money wasting stupid flag referendum. as I never classed that prat as a socialist

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.3

        Gosman wants everyone to acknowledge that no amount of democracy can withstand sustained attack by the United States.

        • Gosman

          If the US could cause such economic dislocation as occurring in Venezuela right now then it should make people think twice before alienating them. Of course the problems faced by Venezuela are homegrown not caused by the US. However that won’t stop leftists like you trying to shift the blame.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            The US is not responsible for the oil price: I’m not surprised that you’d suggest such a thing and you’re a fool if you think that’s what I’m referring to.

            You cannot possibly know that Venezuela’s problems are 100% homegrown, because the aforementioned US foreign policy exists and has been implemented. Who knows where Venezuela would be without it?

            Not you, that’s for sure.

          • maui

            Oh yes, the Venezuelan Government lost around $36 billion in export revenue in a year because somehow Venezuela has the power to set the world oil price… Damn that left wing government. A right wing dictatorship would of course still be riding high..

    • Once was Tim 5.3

      You seem to have a preoccupation with Venuzuela. It serves your cause of course – in this case taking an example where something has turned to shit, and trying to use it as an example of how those who disagree with that ‘centre-right-sensible’ ideology are stupid.
      It’s a bit like taking a small minority of feral beneficiaries and using it as a weapon to bash all (they’re SO not like you). Classic CT, classic Nact, classic MSM.

      What is with the preoccupation with Venuzuela by the way? Does it stem from when Key & Co (those bizniss ‘leaders’) visited Sth America and left with most Sth Americans seeing Him as a complete dolt? (Snubbing the funeral et al). What’s come of hopes of a ‘free trade agreement’ btw? About the only thing I can see is Air NZ Sth American route additions – and that’s on their own initiative.
      (Shudda cudda wudda treated Brazilian students a bit better)

    • Halfcrown 5.4

      Hey Gosman How’s the economy going in that right wing cot case called the Ukraine.?
      Oh I forgot things are looking up as the IMF have told them to forget about paying the money they owe to Russia. Pity the IMF does not apply the same rules to Greece.

    • Sirenia 5.5

      The socialism (health, education, jobs etc) of the last Venezuelan government was very good for the poor. Unfortunately many took their new middle class wealth and security for granted and started believing the lies of capitalism. They went to the polls to vote out those who had rescued them. Much the same as the new middle classes in New Zealand drove from their new state houses to the polling booths in 1949 in their new cars to vote out the first Labour Government which had done so much for them.

  6. savenz 6

    “Welcome to the “1099 economy”: The only things being shared are the scraps our corporations leave behind

    In the aftermath of the economic collapse in 2008, a significant factor in the decline of the quality of jobs in the United States, as well as in Europe has been employers’ increasing reliance on “non-regular” workers — a growing army of freelancers, temps, contractors, part-timers, day laborers, micro-entrepreneurs, gig-preneurs, solo-preneurs, contingent labor, perma-lancers and perma-temps. It’s practically a new taxonomy for a workforce that has become segmented into a dizzying assortment of labor categories. Even many full-time, professional jobs and occupations are experiencing this precarious shift.

    This practice has given rise to the term “1099 economy,” since these employees don’t file W-2 income tax forms like any regular, permanent employee; instead, they receive the 1099-MISC form for an IRS classification known as “independent contractor.” The advantage for a business of using 1099 workers over W-2 wage-earners is obvious: an employer usually can lower its labor costs dramatically, often by 30 percent or more, since it is not responsible for a 1099 worker’s health benefits, retirement, unemployment or injured workers compensation, lunch breaks, overtime, disability, paid sick, holiday or vacation leave and more. In addition, contract workers are paid only for the specific number of hours they spend providing labor, or completing a specific job, which increasingly are being reduced to shorter and shorter “micro-gigs.”

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Exactly as has been happening in NZ starting back in the 1990s with the Employment Contracts Act. All the expenses shifted on to the workers while the bosses get all the benefits. The workers have been getting shafted as the amount that the bosses pay the workers isn’t enough to buy and maintain the tools that the workers need, any holiday or sick pay or pretty much anything at all. ACC then make it harder by making it almost impossible for the contractors to get it despite the fact that they’ve been paying both the employer and employee parts of the ACC levy.

  7. Paul 7

    New Zealand farming practice responsible for the massive Indonesian fires.
    This is another consequence of our do nothing climate polices.

    ‘Palm kernel imports jump

    Palm kernel imports picked up sharply last month
    Imports of the controversial livestock feed supplement, which is used extensively in the dairy industry, came to 222,413 tonnes last month, up from 138,763 tonnes in October and 178,381 tonnes in November last year, according to Statistics NZ data.
    Palm kernel became popular in 2007 when a drought sent North Island farmers looking for new feed sources.
    Imports of palm kernel, a byproduct of the palm oil industry, went from 96,000 tonnes in 2003 to a record 2 million tonnes last year.’

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.1

      And yet Fonterra is telling suppliers to use less…

      Which is weird because some years ago, Fonterra was telling suppliers to use more PKE as it boost the fat content of the milk.

      Somewhere there is research that indicates this increase in fat content was not necessarily a good thing…

      • Paul 7.1.1

        Intensive dairy farming is increasingly looking like an industry that is not compatible with the sensible management of our planet and our country.

        Destroying our rivers
        Responsible for the destruction of pristine Indonesian rainforest
        Animal cruelty, as exposed by SAFE and Farmwatch
        Dairy is one of the most inflammatory foods in our modern diet, second only to gluten.

        • weka

          “Intensive dairy farming is increasingly looking like an industry that is not compatible with the sensible management of our planet and our country.”

          That would have to be the understatement of the year 😉

          We can have one of two things: a clean environment and sustainable economy, or industrial dairying. We can’t have both.

          • Paul

            And it looks lie our government, rather than deal with its poor environmental record, engages in climate fraud.

            ‘Dealing with criminals in climate fraud

            The Government’s plan for meeting our Kyoto Protocol commitment and 2020 emissions reduction target was released this month.
            It reveals a shocking truth: New Zealand has been a willing participant in a wholesale climate fraud.
            We’ve been dealing with criminals and fraudsters in order to meet our international obligations. If our reputation wasn’t shot to pieces after Paris – where we revealed our weak kneed 2030 target – it will be now.’


            • Pat

              a pity this article was buried in a Boxing day edition

            • Andre

              This kind of monkey business is why I think a straight up fossil carbon (and other greenhouse gas) tax is by far the best “market mechanism” to reduce emissions. Any kind of cap-and-trade system will inevitably be open to these sorts of frauds.

              • Lara

                It never did look like a good idea to try and use the tools of the very system which caused the problem, to try and fix the problem.

                • Andre

                  I don’t see the opportunity to line the bastards up against a wall coming anytime soon. Not even if Sanders becomes Prez and Corbyn becomes PM. Do you? And to be honest, the way revolutions played out in the past, I’d be worried about being lined up with the rest of them, being educated and well-off and all that.

                  So the tools of the system we’ve got now are pretty much the only tools we’ve got to play with.

                  • Naturesong

                    If it comes to “lining the bastards up”, you can be pretty certain that anyone who fights for democracy will be the next against the wall. (Maybe third, after the academics, poets and musicians have been purged).

                    Governments, particularly revolutionary ones, can and often do far worse to their people than the rampant corruption, incompetence and theft that we currently labour under.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Yep, laws against corruption with Proceeds of Crime acts that are fully enforced are a much better idea. Gets rid of the capitalists on one hand while also returning the wealth to the nation.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      While your generalisation is pretty sound, Frank Bainimarama managed to supplant a government without a very high butcher’s bill. It could be done here too – we are not some eastern European badlands with a tradition of mass murder going back to Attila.

                      Personally I think enthusiastic prosecution of public asset frauds would suffice, though of course it would see 90% of the incumbents doing porridge, so they will try to suppress investigations of things like CERA.

                  • Lara

                    Nope. I disagree vehemently.

                    Are you suggesting that for real change to happen we must have a violent revolution? That is the bit I disagree with if I understand you correctly (please do point out if I’ve interpreted this wrongly).

                    Non voilent revolution is actually more effective. See this TED talk by Erica Chenoweth.

                    And I don’t think we even need a revolution to achieve real change. With an MMP system if we get enough people voting for parties that represent real change (which IMO would be Greens and Mana) then we may well get it. Peacefully and democratically.

                    IMO it is money; how it is structured, how it works, and who creates it most specifically that is the key to real change. If we change how our money works then we change our society.

                    Money has a big influence on our behaviour. Because we need money to survive; most of us can’t provide our shelter and food necessities without access to some money, and so to obtain money which buys us necessities of life we will do many things which we would rather not do. It drives much of our behaviour at an individual level and at a society wide level.

                    Change how money is structured and you change our behaviour at an individual level and at a society wide level.

                    If a new government was elected which had the balls to change our monetary system then we’d have the foundation of real change in NZ.

                    But that’s the problem. Most MPs don’t understand how our current monetary system works, nor how important it is, nor that there are alternatives. And they lack the balls to change it even if they did understand.

                    Because there are powerful interests that don’t want change.

                    • Andre

                      Good luck with doing it that way. I’ll be cheering for you, no sarcasm, but I really doubt you’ll get any traction beyond “margin-of-error-in-the-polls”. And in the meantime I’ll put my efforts towards things that look to me like they have a chance of actually making improvements.

                    • Lara


                      You continue with your idea of violent revolution then.

                      Apparently that’s the only way we’re going to get change.


                      And if that’s what everyone thinks… then that’s what we’ll fucking get.

                      You might want to take a look at what the results from violence gets you though.

                      Just sayin’

                    • Andre

                      Ok, poor choice of words on my part about bastards and walls. Lesson learned, anything I say can and will be wilfully misinterpreted and used against me. Avoid hyperbole.

                      I advocated a simple carbon tax. Coz I want to see positive changes actually happen. A carbon tax is the kind of tool that is well known and easily adjusted to drive changes in behaviour.

                      I don’t want to just dream about the way things should be, though I do plenty of that too. And the kind of fundamental, radical societal changes on the scale you’re talking about has either taken generations or violent revolutions to come about. When it comes to climate change, we don’t have generations of time to play with, nor do I want to see violent revolution (although I’m very afraid it’s coming anyway). So it’s a case of getting the best results we can with the tools we have now.

                      The Lange-Douglas government is about the only example I can think of where that kind of radical change actually did happen non-violently. Although, metaphorically, it actually was pretty violent. While a lot of those changes were needed, a lot of the rest were not needed, and have turned out pretty negative for the vulnerable parts of our society. So looking back on how things have played out over the last 25 years I would rather the changes had been introduced incrementally.

                      One final general thought – when large holes get ripped into any complex system, say a natural ecosystem or a societal structure, it’s the quick opportunists that tend to fill the holes. Weeds. Fast buck artists. And once they get established they are pretty difficult to dislodge. So to my mind, the kind of change in the structure of money that Draco talks about, and it seems to me that you’re looking for, that’s a disruption bigger than Lange-Douglas and will invite all kinds of unintended consequences. Whereas things like a carbon tax or UBI are just an incremental change from what we have now and can be easily adjusted to get the desired effect.

                    • Pat

                      Am of a similar mind though probably less confident….revolutionary without the guillotine,using your example of Lange/Douglas but to the power of 10….and thats why the bulk of it will need to be government led (driven) although not this government obviously. A groundswell (bottom up if you prefer) is needed to establish that administration but the changes needed will need to be enforced, transitioned, supported in many instances….the alternative is anarchy (revolution) and as history has taught, while quick to tear down revolutions are slow to rebuild….and time hasn’t been on our side for a while .

                  • Lara

                    Andre, there was no “wilful” in my misinterpretation. I made it very clear that it was my interpretation and I can only interpret what you wrote. I also asked to be corrected if I had gotten it wrong.

                    I agree with you that a carbon tax is a possible solution.

                    I am pointing out that carbon trading is unlikely to work. So far that is true.

                    And I am pointing out that it is the structure of our monetary system (which discounts the future) that is the root problem. And that I don’t think we need a revolution to change it.

                    So we actually agree, I’m just trying to take it one step further.

        • Halfcrown

          You are so right there, we visited a lake where many many many years ago we used to go sailing. This would be over 30 years ago. the kids used to swim and play in the lake. I was utterly disgusted this lake is now has a reddish colour about it and warning notices about unsafe to expose your skin to the water as it has a toxic algae in the lake. Shit the number of times I got wet in this lake I doubt if I would have survived the day in today’s conditions.
          No one was sailing on this lake the day we were there. but I give it the benefit of the doubt as it was the holiday season, but I suspect the opposite, people are now wary of the condition this lake is in.
          Lovely HUGE herds of cows in the neighborhood though. no doubt being fed that Palm kernel crap.

      • Molly 7.1.2

        The cynic in me thinks that Fonterra is using this as both a PR and pre-emptive action. There are many in NZ that think our dairy cows are fully pasture or hay fed, it comes as a surprise to find out this is not the case.

        As more look local, the transparency of supply chains for food become easier to collate and view.

        However, without giving farmers direction on how to achieve profitability on their overstocked, climate-change prone farms, this directive is of little use to farmers.

        Brings to mind my partner’s work in heavy industry where workers are told to “work safe” and then also told that production needs to increase to a certain level, and they have to find a way to make it happen. Often the responsibility for ensuring work safe practices belongs with the workers themselves, but few have the personality type or assurance that allows them to challenge conflicting messages from upper management.

        Our complacency in damaging other countries environments while simultaneously damaging our own in our pursuit of white gold, does us no credit. And it seems to enrich very few in return – Amy Adams notwithstanding.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.3

        The only way that less will be used by NZ farmers is if the government bans food importation for animal feed. This would mean that the animals raised in NZ will have to be done so sustainably on NZ’s resources.

        This government won’t do it and I’m pretty sure that a Labour led one won’t either and for the same reason – free-market trade.

    • Reddelusion 7.2


      [RL: The ‘zzz’s’ are not needed. You and anyone else repeating them will earn a ban.]

      • Paul 7.2.1

        Now go away and play

        • Once was Tim

          Good call. Red Delusion is obviously from the Youth Wing of the trolls – either that or it hasn’t the capacity to learn, think critically, or experience (going forward).
          I ‘spose even the ‘hard-right’ are trying to scrape up enough specimens these days to comment, attempt diversions, pepper a few comments with semi-intelligent utterings – what’s the fucking point I sometimes think. CT can’t be ‘across’ everything even tho’ I see one is about to get a Cameron knighthood.
          I wonder who does their roster.
          It’d be nice if they understood some basic methmetuks – the natives will eventually (and are) getting restless – even tho’ the cynicism with politics and an alternative that’s still desperately trying to feed from the trough in order to preserve their comfort.
          (Did someone say James Shaw and Andrew Little ???? SURELY not!!!!)

        • Reddelusion

          Don’t be like that Paul, it’s all robust debate,

          A truce 😀

          • Paul

            I do not call trolling robust debate.
            Nor are ad hominems.

            Would be great to hear your views on palm kernels
            or the Ukraine
            or El Salvador
            or the clash between capitalism and saving the planet…..

            • Reddelusion

              Palm kernel tend to agree not good, not sure of solution barring Indonesia sorting it out and or nz regulation ( re dairy intensification) or consumers rising up

              Ukrain, complicated, no easy answer

              El Salvador, not across it

              capitalism destroying planet, disagree, I agree human activity and population growth is detrimental to planet, capitalism, well not so much capitalism but free markets with corporates of multiple forms of ownership are more likely to find answers though releasing innovation than innovation stifling state based socialism, wastage and poor regulation

              • Paul

                Have you read Naomi Klein’s book on Climate Change?

              • Pat

                “capitalism destroying planet, disagree, I agree human activity and population growth is detrimental to planet, capitalism, well not so much capitalism but free markets with corporates of multiple forms of ownership are more likely to find answers though releasing innovation than innovation stifling state based socialism, wastage and poor regulation”

                what is capitalism if not free markets with corporates of multiple forms (and in the absence of regulation, lassiez faire) pray tell?

              • Halfcrown


                When it comes to the state of the economy of Venezuela, it is all the fault of the socialist system that has failed and will always fail.

                When it comes to that other cot case but right wing Ukraine, it is ” complicated, no easy answer”

      • Reddelusion 7.2.2

        Apologies I just picked this up , understood, I will now z up

    • b waghorn 7.3

      The fact that palm kernel is a buy product makes me think you’re being at best mischievous blaming Indonesian forest fires on kiwi farmers.
      Any products on your shopping list with vegetable/palm oil in them by chance.

      • Psycho Milt 7.3.1

        Exactly. Palm kernel is a by-product of the palm oil business. NZ dairy farmers are no more “responsible” for forest fires in Indonesia than are the people promoting the replacement of animal fats with vegetable ones.

        Before anyone starts: the stupidity of intensifying dairy production to the point where we need to import animal feed (not that dairy cows ought to be eating this stuff) is a separate issue.

        • weka

          I know that’s the theory (and it’s certainly the industry and Fonterra’s PR), but is there evidence that stopping all palm kernal exports would not affect the economics of what is happening in Malayasia/Indonesia and that the kernal would be dumped?

      • Andre 7.3.2

        Let’s think this through. Selling PKE increases the profitability of growing palm oil. So maybe the least profitable forest clearance to palm plantation projects might not go ahead without the PKE sales. Kind of like fewer dairy conversions happen when the milk payout is low. So there’s at least a tenuous link between kiwi farmers buying PKE and forest fires in Indonesia.

        • weka

          That’s what I’m thinking. Plus Fonterra etc will be supporting the best price and not the best practice so they’re culpable that way too.

  8. Penny Bright 8

    A serious question.

    Whom do folks think should be responsible for ensuring that New Zealand Councils, are held accountable to the ‘Rule of Law’ regarding citizens and ratepayers LAWFUL rights to ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ local government?

    The Council’s elected representatives?

    The Council’s CEO?

    The Auditor-General?

    Citizens and ratepayers?

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  9. Manuka AOR 9

    I wonder how this will impact on our future, whether planetary or individual:

    “Google claims the D-Wave 2X is 100 million times as fast as any of today’s machines. As a result, this quantum computer could theoretically complete calculations within seconds to a problem that might take a digital computer 10,000 years to calculate. That’s particularly important, given the difficult tasks that today’s computers are called upon to complete and the staggering amount of data they are called upon to process.”

  10. Manuka AOR 11

    There are now more displaced persons in the world than ever before. More than 60,000,000

    “Indications from the first half of the year suggest 2015 is on track to see worldwide forced displacement exceeding 60 million for the first time. In a global context, that means that one person in every 122 has been forced to flee their home.”

  11. Manuka AOR 12

    2015 Smashes Global Temperature Records
    “According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), by mid-December, 25,242 high-temperature records had been set across the country for just the last year.

    “Given that 2015 easily remains on track to become the hottest year ever recorded for the globe, record-high temperatures continue to be recorded across the planet.

    “In the Arctic, the latest NOAA data shows that temperatures there in 2015 were up to 3 degrees Celsius above the long-term average, and that the warmth had caused so much melting of the sea ice that 70 percent of the ice pack was made up of first-year ice. These temperatures are the highest ever recorded there, and the minimum ice cover for this year was the fourth-smallest ever recorded.” (emph added)

  12. fisiani 13

    Predictions for 2016.
    1. Opinion polls for 2016 will all (RoyMorgan excluded) have National support greater than Labour+ Greens.
    2. Greens will cuddle closer to National
    3. At least two national MP’s will leave parliament.
    4. There will be a by election.
    5. Moves will be made to deselect certain longstanding Labour MP’s
    6. There will be a Cabinet reshuffle and some talented MP’s elected in 2014 will be promoted.
    7. An MP will die.
    8. [RL: Deleted] will be rampant on the Standard.
    9. Celtic will qualify for the Champions League
    10. Tourism revenues for NZ will exceed dairy earnings again

    [RL: Take a week off for repeating boring derivative crap when warned yesterday not to.]

    • Manuka AOR 13.1

      #7 ???

    • weka 13.2

      1. the right will continue to lie about the Green Party as cosying up to National in an attempt to lessen the GP vote.

      2. trolls will troll the standard, but increasingly find it harder to do anything other rely on the CT spin memos, because we’re now in the year of ‘everyone knows Key and National are corrupt so let’s stop pretending’.

      3. real conservatives will speak out more about the problems with National, simply from embarrassment.

      4. NZ will have several severe weather events that scream climate change (one of which will be flooding in Dunedin).

      5. 2016 will see a quantum increase in awareness of the seriousness of climate change.

      6. The Standard will go from strength to strength, including gaining new authors to help spread the load.

      7. Moves will be made to deselect certain longstanding Labour MP’s (we can hope anyway).

      8. a certain website (no not that one, the other one) will implode from too much beige exposure from trying to sue PG.

      9. Andrew Little will continue steady as she goes with Labour, which will both build good standing for the 2017 election and frustrate/disappoint leftist lefties.

      10. Key will make at least 3 rape culture political gaffs because despite some pretty pricey PR and advice he just can’t help himself.

    • repateet 13.3

      If anyone comments on Mike Sabin on the Standard in 2016 will you include that in your no.8? Seven of the predictions are about politicians but none about him.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.5

      My prediction:

      1. All RWNJs, such as Fisiani, will continue to talk out their arse
      2. All RWNJs will continue to think that the sun shines out of John Key’s arse

  13. One Two 14

    Disney doubles stake in Vice to $400 million

    That’s how to control ‘independent media’

    The agendas pushed through Vice have become highly visible in recent years, the site filled with articles containing blatant misstruth

  14. Tracey 15

    Is this better or worse than NZ

    The public sector deficit – the difference between what the government spends and what it receives in revenues – rose to $5.1bn usd

    [RL: Some of your comments are going into moderation because your user name is appearing with extra characters at the end. I’d check to see your user name is being entered properly. Cheers.]

  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    A Brief for Equality

    The claim that economic inequality is justified based on the differential value of people’s contributions to society is no less ideological. It is not an objective weighing on Platonic scales that leads us to think that a doctor should earn more than a mechanic, or that a hedge fund manager should earn more than a teacher. If we accept such inequalities, it is because our thinking about what constitutes a valuable contribution has been shaped by the impression management of occupational groups and by a capitalist culture that would have us equate social value with money-making prowess. The conflation of money with value performs another ideological trick: it implies that wealth is the best indicator of the deservingness of wealth.

    This is, of course, the main problem with today’s socio-economic system.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      There is still no escaping first principles. My brief for equality rests on asserting the values of democracy, self-realization, empathy, dignity, and mutuality. Other people might reject these values. To this I offer a consequentialist rejoinder: only a society built on values consistent with equality will allow everyone to enjoy what the vast majority of human beings have sought from life throughout history. No society organized to enrich a ruling few at the expense of the many can produce such a result.

      • Incognito 16.1.1

        A very interesting find, thank you!

        I note that the emphasis is on economic equality and almost the whole piece is set within an economic framework. The starting point or primary argument is that we are all equal and should therefore get an equal portion/part of the available (including man-made, I assume) but not necessarily unlimited resources and services: ”meaning that, yes, everyone should get pretty much the same”.

        Side-stepping that all people are not equal, not in terms of needs or wants, not in terms of ability ”to join effectively in community decision making”, and not in utilising their capacities to the fullest (assuming they have equal capacities in the first place), this piece seems to advocate almost (?) absolute equality and to reject anything less as inferior!?

        That said, striving for equality, for equal rights, is an almost Utopian ideal that I personally strongly subscribe to. The question remains, though, how to get closer to this ideal. To incentivise the people through materialism is out, by definition. To forcibly make people to treat one and another as equals also is an oxymoron. So, this only leaves the moral or ideological ‘reasoning’ as the way to achieve itself! I may have knotted myself into a circular argument here [bad metaphor, I know] and butchered the writing by Kolakowski on a different topic.

        In any case, I don’t see an easy way (!) forward out of the neo-liberal quagmire unless we all get suddenly infected by a mind-altering virus that radically changes our thinking and attitudes. Unlikely.

    • Reddelusion 16.2

      And what replaces it Draco that will work better without massive unintended consequences and result in the efficient allocation of resources ( including human capital) , correct price discovery etc

  16. Mark 17

    Reading the Press today,I almost choked on my weetbix. One of the most avid supporters of our beloved leader giving him and his government one right in the groin with a number 10 toe cap.
    Here was the Press holding the Prime Minister, Government ministers and the Health Ministry up for a dose of good old fashioned ridicule over their treatment of mentally ill people in Canterbury.
    I am still in shock at the ferocity of the attack

    • Pat 17.1

      will be interesting to see if the teflon retains its properties

      • Tracey 17.1.1

        84% of fed farmers support key and think is govt is great. Big surprise huh.

        • Pat

          yes but only 1000 of 12000 were moved enough to return their vote, so approx 800 of 12000 (or roughly 7%) actively support what National are doing…looked at in those terms pretty low level support… experience of most farmers in recent times is they are unimpressed with National but that in no way equates for support of Labour or the Greens, there may be some support for Winston but to vote left goes against genetic programing

    • maui 17.2

      They probably know they can be scathing because everyone is on holiday mode and the public just aren’t going to care (more so than normal). And you’ve got to feign criticality on your masters just to pretend to everyone you can still do a proper job.

      David Farrar was also on the news tonight, being “critical” of the goverment rushing through legislation. Won’t see him on there again for at least another 6 months.

    • weka 17.3

      That’s grim reading. Not that it’s news to anyone that has been paying attention to what’s happened to Chch, which is why this is shame on NZ as a whole. It’s going on in our front yard.

      As years of weariness, stress and anxiety continue taking a toll across Canterbury, the Ministry of Health is refusing to accept there is an issue when it comes to the extent of the region’s mental health problems.

      Now Canterbury police district commander Superintendent John Price has added his concerns to the mix, revealing a huge increase in the number of attempted suicides around the region. Since 2011, suicide-related emergency calls have almost doubled and are now likely the highest in the country, Price says.

      Such compelling and frightening statistics should be more than enough to spur into action a decent-minded, caring Government.

      Instead, the ongoing issue is being met with tepid indifference by the ministry, which continues its “dogged determination” – according to the Canterbury District Health Board and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority – to deny the problem exists and to provide any extra mental health support.

      Hard to imagine a more succinct summation of the neoliberal ethos. Come on all you righty regulars on TS, do tell us how this is right and proper in the scheme of things.

      • weka 17.3.1

        opps, that last paragraph is mine not the editorial’s 😉

      • RedLogix 17.3.2

        Nah it’s only a small minority of losers who aren’t ‘resilient’ enough to cope. No point in wasting good money on them when there’re plenty of lucrative, criminal carbon credits to spend it on.

        (I went through about a decade of mild PTSD after the Edgecumbe quake in 1988, so I’m not in the least surprised by this … just how long it’s taken for our media to say anything about it.)

      • Naturesong 17.3.3

        Well, if you’re looking through a neoliberal lens, the real question is not whether or not Christchurch has experienced a spike in the number of people suffering from mental health issues, but whether or not someone can make money out of it.

        Capitalism and particularly the neo-liberal mind-set explicitly restricts the use of capital to only those ventures which are able to generate profit.
        This in turn prevents inquiry into the most efficient use of capital; collectively funding the basic services upon which everybody relies (health, education, housing, access to water et al.).

        The other lie I see often is the assertion that only capitalism and the capitalists lust for profit drives innovation. And that it is socialism, or my personal preference, social democracy that stifles innovation.
        It’s easy to see this lie. Most of us grew up already knowing the answer: Necessity is the mother of invention.

      • Tracey 17.3.4

        Like this expression of understanding of mental health

        God forbid anyone mention nazis but calling left wingers loonies or commies is all good

  17. millsy 18

    Reddelusion — how much was your average monthly power bill in, say 1980?. Phone line rental? Rent? How much did you have to pay to go to the doctor?

  18. joe90 19


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