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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