Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, June 12th, 2015 - 101 comments
“Rock-star economy” is a catch-phrase that has served very well to persuade us that we are doing well in economic terms. But “chickens coming home to roost” and “living in a fool’s paradise” may be nearer the truth about our economic performance.
Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, May 8th, 2015 - 11 comments
113 more jobs to go at Solid Energy’s Stockton Mine. Bill English killed Solid Energy, these job losses are his.
Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, December 18th, 2014 - 9 comments
National are not responsible for the eventual recovery, they are responsible for delaying it.
Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, September 9th, 2014 - 49 comments
The economy is a mess, the Nats have no ideas, and their current policies (e.g. hypothetical tax cuts) are getting laughed out of town. National is useless on the economy, and the sooner we the people wake up to this fact, the better off we will be.
Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, February 25th, 2014 - 14 comments
In my previous post on how a UBI would address inequality, it turns out I figured out something that is already known as a measure of inequality called the Gini coefficient and the Lorenz curve. A lower Gini coefficient is better and represents a more equal society. It is a recognised way of measuring and comparing inequality between countries, changes in equality overtime and for the effects of taxation proposals. Looking at it for NZ shows the effects of the last 30 years of neoliberal “reform”.
Written By: - Date published: 7:08 am, August 8th, 2013 - 84 comments
In an otherwise typically dull piece in The Herald recently, Bob Jones finished up with a typically blunt assessment of the impact of Labour and National governments on the economy. It seems that Jones can acknowledge the truth that most right-wingers try and deny.
Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, April 1st, 2013 - 49 comments
Changes to the tax rules that kick in today reverse two decisions made earlier by the government. Dither dither dither.
Written By: - Date published: 10:56 am, August 2nd, 2011 - 57 comments
The PSA is launching its election campaign this evening. Our big challenge is to break through the government’s narrative (now reaching mythic proportions) that NZ is sinking under debt the likes of Greece tooand the only solution is to cut public spending and sell assets. As the well informed readers of The Standard know, NZ’s […]
Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, February 1st, 2011 - 44 comments
Pundits looking to talk up the economy are hopeful that things will improve in 2011. National have done more harm than good, but there some encouraging signs too, arising from external factors such as high food prices, and returns on old investments such as NZ Super. The NZ economy will eventually recover. Not because of the Nats, but in spite of them.
Written By: - Date published: 2:56 pm, November 22nd, 2010 - 3 comments
Seems Eric Cantona wasn’t listening.
I particularly liked the response given by Valérie Ohannesian of the French Banking Federation who, seemingly devoid of any sense of irony stated that, “One of the main roles of a bank is to keep money safe. This appeal will give great pleasure to thieves, I would have thought.”
Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, June 27th, 2008 - 37 comments
As expected, the economy contracted 0.3% in the March quarter. The drought brought activity in the agricultural sector down after a recent strong run, the housing sector continued to slow off the back of the boom, oil prices are dragging on the economy in general, and mining was down after a surge in the December […]
Written By: - Date published: 1:37 pm, May 6th, 2008 - 17 comments
National and some of the more wacky commentators are complaining that the $655 million used by the Government to buy back the rail stock should have been used, instead, to fund tax cuts. Now, there’s a crucial difference between a tax cut and a one-off capital purchase. And it’s that you only pay once for […]
Written By: - Date published: 12:58 pm, May 5th, 2008 - 17 comments
The Labour Cost Index rose a record 3.4% for the March year. That means wages and salaries for doing the same job rose an average of 3.4% over the year. Public sector wages were up 3.3% and private sector wages up 3.5%. Retail and other low-paid workers did especially well, with their pay up 5.1%, […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:19 am, May 2nd, 2008 - 57 comments
National is a party weak on policy. It has had to drop nearly every one of its principled but unpopular policies to get itself in a position to win an election. This raises the question of why someone would vote for National, rather than keep the current lot. One of National’s answers is to claim […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, April 30th, 2008 - 3 comments
It’s not often National gets something right but their latest flip-flop, on bio-fuels, is a good policy (well, partially and for the wrong reasons). National has announced they will no longer be supporting the bio-fuel requirement in petrol because it may put up the price of petrol a few cents. The bio-fuel requirement was always […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, April 28th, 2008 - 15 comments
Interesting to see people gradually waking up to what Fidel Castro, last year, called “The sinister idea of converting food into combustibles”. Even crazy ol’ Mike Moore writes about it today, although he is dead wrong when he calls biofuels “a populist Green response to global warming”. Environmentalists were always suspicious of biofuels, seeing them […]
Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 29 comments
In 1974, economist Richard Easterlin, published a study in which he argued that economic growth didn’t necessarily lead to more satisfaction. In poor countries, gaining the necesseties of life raised happiness but beyond those gains there was no increase. This became known as the Easterlin paradox. Just last week, two young economists presented what they […]
Written By: - Date published: 12:18 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 28 comments
The internet is awesome; you can use email, learn heaps, and read sites like The Standard. Faster internet is awesomer; you can watch the Porirua market video without having to wait for it to buffer. Personally, I can’t wait until I’m getting the internet through a chip in my skull. Why, then, is National’s $1.5 […]
Written By: - Date published: 3:31 pm, April 22nd, 2008 - 50 comments
We have all heard of the peak oil crisis that is already manifesting itself in fuel prices. Now, consider peak food, the point where our ability to produce food peaks even as demand grows. Wheat was the first plant to be domesticated, around 10,000 years ago. Our civilisations are built on the excess calories available […]
Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, April 17th, 2008 - 26 comments
Continuing our benefits theme, here’s a look at how much the benefit system costs you. The figures are the combined expenditure by the Government on the Unemployment, Sickness, Invalids’, and Domestic Purposes benefits per day per working age New Zealander, in 2007 dollars. Sources: MSD (1,2,3), StatsNZ (4,5) The portion of the working age population […]
Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, April 16th, 2008 - 31 comments
As you know, petrol and food prices are up. These are international prices spiralling up due to growing demand and limited or falling supply. When demand exceeds supply prices rise. Now, when food and petrol goes up, that’s inflation. In fact it’s most of the current inflation: out of 3.4%, 0.9% is from petrol and […]
Written By: - Date published: 3:54 pm, April 15th, 2008 - 31 comments
This graph shows the number of people employed in New Zealand, and employment would have been had the number of people with a job as a portion of the working-age population had remained steady at 76% as it was before 1987. Look what happened during the rightwing economic revolution from 1987 to 1999 (when National […]
Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 15th, 2008 - 22 comments
National’s latest line is that interest rates have doubled under Labour, with the implication that National would magically lower inflation (while simultaneously pouring more money into the economy through lower surpluses) so rates would fall. But, as with so much National says, a quick look at the record reveals the lie. Average Mortgage Rate- Nat: 9.7%, […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, April 10th, 2008 - 42 comments
The Reserve Bank produces a series of helpful tables of economic data. One table compares our growth to that of Australia, the US, Japan, and the UK. Here’s a graph comparing growth across the countries between National and Labour’s periods in government. National has a pathetic track record on growth. Under them, our economy grew 1% […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:04 am, April 9th, 2008 - 28 comments
New Zealand First’s opposition to the China FTA is no surprise but it is interesting to reflect on the grounds for it that Winston Peters has laid out: a) the deal is not good enough. A pretty weak argument when the other option is no deal. b) the immigration provisions are bad and shouldn’t be […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, April 1st, 2008 - 15 comments
Today is a big day for government policy affecting Kiwis’ incomes: The minimum wage is now $12 an hour, up from $7 when Labour gained power. Youth rates have been effectively abolished, meaning young people will get the same pay for the same work. From today, employers must contribute to employees’ Kiwisaver accounts equivalent to 1% […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:17 am, March 26th, 2008 - 18 comments
New Zealand’s coal industry is a mess of contradictions. We worry about carbon emissions and Kyoto while State-owned Solid Energy exports coal to dirty Chinese factories. Rather than being energy-efficiently shipped out of Greymouth, coal from the West Coast is taken by rail over the Southern Alps because taxpayer-subsidised Toll gives SOE Solid Energy and Pike River a cut-price deal to haul […]