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Spin v reality

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 pm, May 21st, 2012 - 12 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, economy, employment, im/migration, john key, national, unemployment - Tags: , , ,

National have become a very adept PR machine. While not adept at running the country, they’ve become great at running statistics.

John Key was pushing things a little too far with his lines that unemployment rising to 6.7% showed an improved economy and that Europe electing anti-austerity leaders showed their austerity policies were right, but in general they’ve been running lines that have stuck all too well.

So we have things like a Fairfax poll showing more people blame Labour for our current Government debt than National – despite leaving the accounts in net credit (including Cullen Fund), and it being National who are busy running up $60 or $70 billion of debt for the next government to deal with.  Tax cuts for the rich?  Nothing to do with it.  Let me sell you a single Treasury paper with mention of “a decade of deficits”…

Talking of those tax cuts, they managed to spin them as making everybody better off – but it not costing the government anything.  Can’t beat a bit of money out of thin air – particularly with Treasury forecasting an immeasurably small amount of growth due to the cuts, even through their neo-liberal lens.

And so we have 10 out of the last 11 quarters have had growth – soon to morph into “the last 10 quarters have had growth“.  Actually we have on average 0.5% growth under National – the lowest of any government since Labour first came to power in 1935.  It barely matches population increase.  National are happy to count 0.07% growth as as big a win as any.

Australia has averaged 2.4% growth – 5 times as much.  US and Canada?  About 1.3% each.  The Eurozone has struggled with their debt crisis – something that thanks to Cullen we don’t have.  Bill English said about what good shape the books were in when he arrived in office.  John Key talked about not having a debt crisis, but a growth crisis.  Tax cuts for the rich would solve everything.

Now: they’ve delivered virtual nil growth, but everything has to be seen through the prism of how they can get rid of all the debt they racked up…

If that’s not a sign of a failed policy from a failed government I don’t know what is.

Their biggest advertising in 2008 was on “say goodbye to higher taxes, not your loved ones” – but now we have a record of more than 1,000 per week heading across the ditch over the last year – more than 1.2% of the population.  This could have something to do with the 170,000 jobs they forecast will be created each Budget – but never seem to arrive.  Unemployment? 6.7% – more than 50% more unemployed people than when they took office in the recession.

They continue to sell asset sales as beneficial to the economy, despite pretty much every analyst and economist saying it makes no sense.  The loss of dividends doesn’t match the lower interest payments.  We lose control of strategic assets.  We overpower our capital markets with just one sort of asset.  We sell our parents’ inheritance and have nothing left for our kids.  It will make our government books worse off – let alone our current account deficit as those profits head overseas.

A brighter future? How long can they keep that wool across the country’s eyes?

So on Thursday when Bill English reels out his lines of “growth” and “jobs” and “aggressive recovery” during the budget… remember that you’ve heard them in 2011 and 2010 and 2009 – and for that matter on the campaign trail in 2008.

They won’t deliver – they never do.


12 comments on “Spin v reality”

  1. Carol 1

    The statistics show a frightening reality. But, not to worry, that brighter future is on the way – that nice man Mr key says so.


    Prime Minister John Key says the Budget, to be read on Thursday, will show the Government is on track to post a small surplus in 2014/15.

    Key said treasury forecasts had factored in a lot of weakness and volatility in Europe.

    • marsman 1.1

      Did Treasury also factor in their own incompetence? But whatever the factoring we can be certain that that slime on legs Con-man Key will sell it to us like a bunch of fucking roses.

    • David H 1.2

      “Key: surplus coming”

      So’s a funny little fat man in a Red suit, to say nothing of the Easter Bunny.

  2. saniac 2

    If you look carefully, you’ll see that’s a poll of Fairfax readers, not a normal opinion poll with a random sample. I actually emailed Vernon Small a couple of years ago to ask about these Fairfax Reader polls, and he told me that they come from their “reader panels.” If you poke around Stuff, you’ll find reader panels comprise people who’ve volunteered to take part in surveys in return for the chance to win prizes.

    Hardly anything could be further from a legitimate poll.

    The scandal here isn’t National spin as much as it is reporting of bad statistics as news, with serious political consequences.

    It would be interesting to know whether the Labour people quoted in the article had the wit to point to National’s tax cuts as a fiscal problem and the reporter left that out, or whether they failed to do so.

  3. Ed 3

    Does someone have the successive budget forecasts of jobs that will be created in the next year, compared with the number actually created?

    Will they forecast 170,000 again? (or was that a 3 year or 5 year total?) See how easy it is to forget!

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    So we have things like a Fairfax poll showing more people blame Labour for our current Government debt than National – despite leaving the accounts in net credit (including Cullen Fund), and it being National who are busy running up $60 or $70 billion of debt for the next government to deal with.

    I/S has been onto this as well: He’s got a pretty graph showing exactly where the debt came from.

    If that’s not a sign of a failed policy from a failed government I don’t know what is.

    This government has been very successful – it has, after all, managed to sell us into serfdom so that the rich can remain rich.

    They continue to sell asset sales as beneficial to the economy, despite pretty much every analyst and economist saying it makes no sense.

    It makes sense to National as it puts the communities wealth into the hands of the rich and sets things up so that everyone else will have to work harder which will only go to making the rich richer.

    How long can they keep that wool across the country’s eyes?

    Up until about now, I think (and hope) that the majority of people are realising that NACT don’t govern for the majority but the rich minority.

    They won’t deliver – they never do.

    Yes they do – to the rich while shafting everyone else.

  5. It isnt just the NACTs who are spinmasters. The whole fiction that capitalist growth is good for everybody, can be good for everybody, all other species, and the planet itself, is presented as natural, inevitable and incontrovertible. The best of all possible worlds. Capitalism itself produces its own cover in disguising exploitation in production as equal exchange subject to fiscal fiddling as in Budgets. It has centuries of propaganda, law, literature, art and bullshit to cement it as the truth.
    What capitalism cannot stop however is its own degeneration and breakdown as the price of its survival is the destruction of humanity and the ecosphere. Let’s put the NACTs Budget where it belongs, one miserable lie in the litany of lies which cannot hide the reality that their whole rip, shit, bust system is collapsing, into the dustbin of history. Instead of examining one lie out of context why not organise to bring the whole rotten system down?

  6. tracey 6

    Labour continue to shoot themselves in the foot. To be attacking key for not standing down banks, and i agree banks should be gone, and having the jones thing in the background… Shearer needs to step jones down now to counter the charge of hypocrisy and put the heat back on key.

    • Carol 6.1

      I’m no Shearer fan, but I have noticed that the MSM is reporting the issue inaccurately, and glossing over differences in the way the issues were managed by each party leader.

      Key just asked Banks if he’d done wrong in a pretty vague way and hadn’t asked for any details. Shearer sat down with Jones and asked for the details of the processes Jones used in approving the application.

  7. muzza 7

    Have we ever actually had an RBNZ Audit, or a proper audit on the full books of NZ inc?

    Balancing the budget includes interest on our debt, which is going to cripple us into borrowing more to fund the payments…until the IMF step in!

    Fiddling around the numbers we get to see is nothing compared to the OFF BALANCE SHEET EXPOSURES

    As I have posted before….NEW ZEALAND’S PUBLIC SECTOR

    Read it!

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