Pollyanna

Written By: - Date published: 2:54 pm, October 4th, 2011 - 37 comments
Categories: economy, john key - Tags:

John Key’s relentless optimism is designed to make the country feel good, and to feel good about him – that nice man Mr Key.

It doesn’t, however, solve our large economic problems.

We’re yet to hear the sunny-side of Dan Carter’s injury (that ‘Colin Slade will get a chance to shine’? ‘it will make a game of it for the other teams’?), or the Warriors’ loss, but then Key is often out of sight when bad news is to be dealt out – he leaves that to his ministers (see: public service cuts).

But occasionally he gets caught on the spot.  Say, when he’s presenting an hour-long radio program about his cat, and it’s rudely interrupted by our country’s economic reputation being downgraded twice.

All he can do is quickly deny that any of it’s his fault, and say that the implications won’t be bad anyway.

His government ran his last budget past Standard & Poors before finalising it, and said that a downgrade was probably the worst possible thing that could happen, but now  it’s apparently no worries.

His blind optimism may work well in currency trading, but it doesn’t solve everything in the real world; and with productive businesses.  While confidence is important, the entire economy is not an confidence trick.

We can’t just ‘muddle along’, and hope that keeping optimistic will see us through.  We need to fix the fundamentals of the economy to help productive business, rather than flogging off any productive businesses overseas while we wait for our optimism to start working.

Although this post should be covered by the opinion section of electoral law and shouldn’t need authorisation, here’s mine anyway, just to be safe:
Authorised by Ben Clark, 54 Aramoana Ave, Devonport

37 comments on “Pollyanna”

  1. just saying 1

    Maybe if the opposition was to point out the extent of the crisis facing NZ, loud, clear, and unequivocal – at every opportunity, Key wouldn’t be able to play Pollyanna.

    The ball is in your court on this one.

    • Blue 1.1

      The problem is no-one is listening, because the messenger is soooooooooo boring and “sucks the charisma out of the room”. A personality free zone if you will.

    • Roger 1.2

      David Cunliffe already has, it was tucked away in the Business section of Monday’s Herald.

      He states the causes, consequences, and National’s reactionary spin lines in a short and simple manner.

      This statement from him clearly summarises the immediate damage to ordinary New Zealanders…

      “So what? Won’t the Rugby World Cup tourism spend-up fix it? Why does it matter to Kiwis anyway? It matters because in the Prime Minister’s own words “this would add 1 to 2 per cent to everyone’s home mortgages”. For an Auckland family servicing say a $300,000 mortgage, that is an extra $250 to $500 a month in borrowing costs.

      Higher interest rates choke business growth and our faltering recovery. Sadly, more New Zealanders will join the 47,000 extra made unemployed since this Government came to office.”

      The rest is here:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10756092

      • just saying 1.2.1

        The economic crisis facing NZ goes way beyond a potential 1-2 percent interest rate increase. I thought this post was criticising Key for playing Pollyanna about a great deal more than just this.
        I guarantee that if Labour used its resources to be upfront about the extent of the crises we face it would not be buried deep in the paper. It would make front page news (and admittedly, take a whole lot of shit for it). The point I was making is that Labour is colluding in the Pollyanna business. Maybe the party believes that being upfront and honest would hurt its election prospects?

        As long as Labour plays pollyanna-lite it will continue to fail to capture attention, and worse, it will continue to facilitate the Key government’s giant confidence trick. In other words, until it starts being part of the solution, it will continue to be part of the problem.

        The article you cite is an excellent example of Labour not being “loud, clear and unequivocal”.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1

          Anyone reading Hickey or Morgan in the last few weeks should have gotten the message loud and clear, no?

          Apparently the majority of New Zealanders are just resigned to the fact that the next several years is going to be a shit fight.

          • just saying 1.2.1.1.1

            Yeah CV. It has been heartening to read. Those articles have even given some of my swing-nat whanau food for thought.
            Unfortunately these writers are not members of the opposition.

  2. But the Warriors NEARLY caught up with Australia.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Meanwhile Bill English claims that rating companies don’t direct government policy:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5726510/English-lashes-out-at-ratings-agencies

    I guess it’s true really, otherwise they would have made sensible choices about superannuation.

  4. Blue 4

    Thanks Ben, this is bound to win you a seat. Your age is starting to show, but not in a good way.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    Another amazing comment from Blue that adds no value to the discussion, your bias is always on show. Care to address the issues raised or is it to hard for you Nats to even talk policy?

    • Blue 5.1

      Well, the post was from a very immature young man likening the most popular PM in history to Pollyanna, then castigating him for being optimistic. I guess the left are the opposite to that: dreary and morbid and full of pessimism. Misery loves company I suppose. My observation is that he is a young man in a corner and is lashing out like a toddler who knows he is not going to get to sit at the adults table.
      [Ben: Warning – abuse of site authors is a self-martydom offence (see Policy) – do it again and it’ll be a ban]

      [lprent: No Ben, I’m overriding you.

      As an older bastard I’m somewhat less tolerant to old fools pontificating in their dotage. I have seen more of them than Ben and I seldom see any particular extra value in their arguments compared to other adults.

      But he hasn’t bothered to make an argument or debate the issues. He has simply made a straight personality attack on an author based on nothing but age. That isn’t something I’ll tolerate from anyone.

      I can’t see anything in his comment record to justify having him here. He usually just seems to regurgitate material from other sites rather than using his brain or even sharing experience. A critic rather than someone productive.

      Banned until after the election. ]

      • Ben Clark 5.1.1

        How old are you that 35 is young and immature? Are ‘the young’ not allowed a viewpoint anyway?

        Far from ‘lashing out’ I was expressing an opinion (common on blog sites…) – that blind optimism (as exhibited by Key) will not solve our problems and we need action and an economic plan. Optimism is great, but it doesn’t solve problems by itself.

        May I suggest some Voltaire.

  6. Whats wrong with being positive.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Nothing… as long as it isn’t being used as an excuse for failing to act.

    • Morrissey 6.2

      Savour this deeply ironic comment from our friend Brett Dale…

      Whats wrong with being positive.

      Indeed. You might like to try it some time.

      By the way, you forgot to use a question mark.

      • Brett Dale 6.2.1

        Morrissey:

        Im positive, you guys are always negative, if Key find the cure for cancer you would all moan that he only did because he had privilege growing up or something.

        • mik e 6.2.1.1

          BD Key might find a cure for cancer but he would only sell it to those who can afford it.The rest would get Key faith healing version smile and wave!You probably would just get the smile and wave version your self as you sound like one of the gullible wannabes.

  7. Brett 7

    Ever wondered why academics are hopeless at commodity/stock trading?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Ever wondered why RWNJs continuously make inane remarks?

      • Brett 7.1.1

        Nothing inane about it, [Deleted…RL], study was done on it a while ago.
        Apparently the biggest weakness of an academic is the inability to admit they are wrong, thus they have a bad habit of not bailing on trades that go bad and end up losing all their money.

        [The Standard is strict about not ‘outing’ or using people’s real names. In this case I’m not sure why you did it, but a repeat of this offense will result in a ban… RL]

        • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1

          Moderator, it appears that Brett is using Draco’s real name (or pretending to), comment 7.1.1 in Pollyanna post.

          Please get it redacted. [Thanks for drawing attention to it… RL]

          I wonder if a ‘report post’ tool could be useful?

        • Puddleglum 7.1.1.2

          Hi Brett,

          So when do you think Key will bail out on New Zealand? It’s going pretty bad at the moment (credit downgrades, etc.). Cut and run, you reckon? Just like a savvy trader?

          Don’t you think you’re being a bit unkind on Key, though?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.3

          That’s common to everybody. Quite often it’s the reason why businesses fail and it’s certainly why our economy is failing now. We’ve got hold of an idea (neo-liberalism, capitalism) and are holding onto it even though all the evidence around us shows that it doesn’t work. Conservatives, otherwise known as RWNJs, are especially bad for it – that’s why they’re called conservatives in fact.

          Your comment is inane because it totally fails to add anything to the conversation.

          • KJT 7.1.1.3.1

            Calling the current crop of Neo-Liberal maniacs, conservatives is a bit of a misnomer.

            There has been few more radical experiments in economics and society, than the current one.

            The authoritarian transfer of wealth to a few has more in common with German and Soviet Governments in the 30’s than, mid 20th century social democratic western Government.

            The old style conservatives had the same aims as the left. A more prosperous and advanced society for everyone. We may differ on how to get there, but the goals were the same.

            We were able to talk to each other.

            The goals of the current mob of Neo-Liberals is simply to take all they can get before it all collapses. Like the person who wants the right to shoot the last surviving buffalo. Or the trawlerman who says. “Get it before someone else does and it a is all gone”.

            Any negotiation with them is pointless.

    • mik e 7.2

      brett same reason they are not found at casinos and race tracks

    • Afewknowthetruth 7.3

      One of the more interesting experiments done a few years ago compared the performance of an investment manager with that of a child and with throwing darts at a board.

      The child outperfomed the so-called investment manager and throwing darts at a board.

      A very revealing study discovered that people in the field of economics and trading have a much greater sense of selfishness and a much lower level of social responsibility than people in other fields.

      It all fits the pattern of behaviour and the results we are seeing from Key.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1

        Yep, people in economics/finance are essentially trained psychopaths.

        • Colonial Viper 7.3.1.1

          They are a pretty self selecting group of sociopaths on entry into the uni courses, and they just harden from there.

          Mind you, 5-10% of them are pretty good sorts who use their arts to benefit society.

  8. vto 8

    Well I will put my faith in the intelligence of the voting of the New Zealanders fellow.

  9. randal 9

    The default position for Jerkey is he was currency trader therefore he is an economic omnsicient omnipotent. But when somebody wins then somebody loses and one has only to read “Liars Poker” by Michael Lewis to see how certain people were mulcted and selected as losers.
    Now Key has shifted his base of operations to New Zealand where he and his coterie are busy shaking down the workers for their personal amusement and selling off the states assets for their personal pecuniary gain. Is this progress?

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    Ben.

    ‘but it doesn’t solve everything in the real world; and with productive businesses. While confidence is important, the entire economy is not an confidence trick.’

    You seem to need reminding every other day that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PRODUCTIVE BUSINESS. And still that basic truth doesn’t sink in and you keep repeating the same kind of nonsense.

    Nature produces everything. Businesses simply concern themselves with converting nature into something else plus waste, or directly converting nature into waste. Businesses don’t produce anything except pollution.

    And I’m afraid you ar wrong on the second point too. The entire economy is a confidence trick. Fractional reserve banking is a confidence trick, GDP is a confidence trick, carbon credits are a confidence trick …….. it goes on and on. The bulk of the global economy is geared to stripping the planet of anything of value and converting it into a form that can be transferred to the ultra-rich. That’s why the entire economic system is now falling apart as resources and the global environment get consumed by economic activity.

    Please remember it will be YOUR CHILDREN who will have to pay thre horrendous price for all the madness that has gone on over past decades, and continues to be promoted, even as the world has passed peak oil and hurtles straight towards destitution and abrupt climate change.

    I know you just don’t get it but the truth is, the longer the present system continues to operate the worse off everyone will be in the future.

  11. Galeandra 11

    AFKTT: ‘the longer the present system continues to operate the worse off everyone will be in the future.’
    You’re rendering yourself boring and pointless with your obsession.
    Do you consider yourself to be to the left or the right of Pol Pot?
    What do you think we should do, besides nothing that is?
    Because ‘there is no such thing as a productive business. Nature produces everything.’ Oh well, no jobs for cooks cleaners, builders or brewers, teachers, gardeners, musicians,mps…….
    All go home and die.
    It is possible to build an economy around the principles of the triple bottom line, you know.

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    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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