The good ones get it

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, June 28th, 2016 - 126 comments
Categories: capitalism, Globalisation, obama, us politics - Tags:

I have often seen here complaints that elites are taking over the world, that politicians simply get manipulated by them, and as a result the real people are just damaged and used. Following is an excerpt from a Bloomberg interview with President Obama from June 13th – before Brexit – that shows how he makes the links between trade, elites, workers, and redistribution:

I think that the temptation (…) is to resort to nativism and nostalgia and the sense that these things are out of control and I want to take control back. And that can be true of the Left; it can be true of the Right. But I continue to believe that that majority of people, whether in the United States, in Europe, or certainly in rapidly advancing parts of the world like Asia – these folks recognize that the world has shrunk, and that if rules are structured properly, this gives them more opportunity, not less, to succeed.

My argument has been that the reason people are resistant to [the free trade] argument is because global elites have been inattentive to the issues of wages, incomes, and opportunity for ordinary people. If you’re selling globalization and saying it’s great, even though each year … you’re seeing more and more of a winner-take-all economy, where not just the top 1 per cent, but the top 0.01 per cent, are getting a larger and larger share, then yes, it’s going to be pretty hard to make an argument that “don’t worry, this is great for you.”

(…) If you talk to the younger generation here in the United States, they’re not knee-jerk anti-trade. They’re not anti-globalization. If you look at surveys, it tends to be older workers who are feeling displaced who are attracted to this notion of “let’s pull the drawbridge and shut everybody off.”

(…) We know that if we’re investing in education, early childhood education, college – making that cheaper and more affordable – then workers are going to have more opportunity. We know that if they have higher minimum wages, then they’ll get a larger share of the fruits of all these amazing new innovations and globalization. We know that if we have stronger labour standards and workers have more voice, that’s going to make a difference.

There were a bunch of decisions that were made back in the ’30s by FDR and then later in this country in the ’60s, that were fiercely resisted by business but essentially created a social compact and a social welfare state where people said, “OK, I’m seeing the benefits of innovation. I’m seeing the benefits of capitalism. I’m seeing the benefits of trade.” We have to update these for the 21st century in the same way that in previous eras we updated those for the shift from agriculture to industry. And that’s going to require some farsightedness, not just in the public arena but also in the private sector.”

Of course, he’s come to the end of his two terms and is somewhat freer in naming the powers. There’s little more he can do to further burnish his historical place. But at minimum it shows that good politicians when considering the economy can make the right links, focus on where the power is and where it needs redistributing to, and be mindful of the historical shoulders he’s standing on. You just don’t often see it in print, as a verbatim conversation. Compared to what passes for joining the dots in our current parliament, I think I’m going to miss him.

126 comments on “The good ones get it”

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Freedom of movement is a basic human right.

      Remember how it was the immigrants who repealed Glass-Steagel and crashed the global economy while chanting “free-market”?

      No, neither do I.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        you better tell the Syrians drowning off Greece your thing about freedom of movement.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1

          I have no time for your myopic drivel.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            The sooner you stop spending time replying, the better off both of us will be.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah. You’ll be better off, with one less critical voice exposing your self-serving drivel. I won’t be better off because you’ll still be pushing your self-serving drivel and employing your dishonest bad faith approach to criticism, thus derailing useful discussions and alienating potential allies.

        • Greg 1.1.1.2

          Call me Meyer,

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.3

          While I’m at it, as a member of the NZLP, you’ve got a lot of nerve going after a Green voter on those grounds. Get your plank out of my eye.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.3.1

            Why are you still spending your time replying to me?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.3.1.1

              The same reason doctors advise people to stick with their chemotherapy: the possibility of remission.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        Freedom of movement is a basic human right.

        Nope.

        You do not have the right to affect other people without their permission.

        As that is what freedom of movement entails then it’s obvious that it’s not a basic human right.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.1

          Sure. When our actions affect other people, they tend to move. I note the failure of various walls throughout history, and that they still seem attractive to some.

          Are you a wall builder Draco? We just more-or-less fucked anyone who lives in the equatorial regions. Like it or not, those who can walk, will. Those who can sail, ditto.

          What’s the plan?

          .

          • McFlock 1.1.2.1.1

            The world becomes a cluster of self-sufficient, automated, communist silos based on current national boundaries, apparently

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.1.1

              You have a problem with being sustainable?

              Because the present system isn’t.

              And you’re exaggerating my position.

              • McFlock

                Exaggerating?

                With anyone else, it would be an outright fabrication.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Considering that I’ve advocated on this board for changing national boundaries in respect to the Kurds and Palestine and anywhere else there’s conflict that could be eradicated by a change in borders.

                  Considering that I’ve also said that free-trade will still exist but be minimised and likely to be only an exchange of information.

                  Considering that I’ve advocated for cooperatives businesses run by the workers.

                  The only two things that apply is the self-sufficient and automated. And even the self-sufficiency isn’t absolute due to the expected exchange of information.

                  So, really, it’s even an outright fabrication as regards to me as well.

                  • McFlock

                    so:

                    self-sufficient,

                    check

                    automated,

                    check

                    communist

                    well, at least having businesses run by worker co-operatives, so the workers would control the means of prod-… check

                    silos

                    so, free trade of information only, but other trade is strictly regulated if at all permissable. Physical silos, then, but not of data.

                    based on current national boundaries

                    addendum “with some exceptions”.

                    Yeah, I go with your first position, that it’s merely an exaggeration. In fact it seems to me to be only a slight exaggeration of the views you’ve expressed.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      well, at least having businesses run by worker co-operatives, so the workers would control the means of prod-

                      That would be an over-simplification of communism. And, besides, why shouldn’t the workers control their business? What right do others have to control it?

                      It would still be a market system.

                      so, free trade of information only, but other trade is strictly regulated if at all permissable.

                      Wrong

                      Although there would be some regulations trade itself would be allowed and even encouraged but, due to an actual even playing field, minimised by the vagaries of the market itself. Trade is expensive.

                      addendum “with some exceptions”.

                      With the exception that all boundaries are negotiable.

                      In fact it seems to me to be only a slight exaggeration of the views you’ve expressed.

                      Nope, you’re still exaggerating them, trying to class them as negative while ignoring the merits.

                      Why are you against automation when it frees people up for doing better things and/or a better lifestyle?
                      Why are you against workers controlling their business and themselves?
                      Why are you against a country being able to support itself without having to rely upon other countries?

                    • McFlock

                      lol yes, it’s an exaggeration. It’s hardly a complete misrepresentation though.

                      Why are you against automation when it frees people up for doing better things and/or a better lifestyle?

                      I’m not, particularly. I merely felt it was significant factor in the desired vision you had for the world.

                      Why are you against workers controlling their business and themselves?

                      I’m not, particularly. I merely felt it was significant factor in the desired vision you had for the world.

                      Why are you against a country being able to support itself without having to rely upon other countries?

                      I’m not, if that is the most efficient way humanity as a global species can allocate resources (I don’t think it is – I suspect that our rainfall is more conduciveto watermelon crops than, say, Mali’s water resources. Malians deserve melons, too). I merely felt it was significant factor in the desired vision you had for the world.

                      You misunderstand my laughter. I don’t think that any of those things are negative or bad, with the possible exception of national self-sufficiency when other nations might be able to produce better quality widgets with fewer resources, and we can do the same with sprockets.

                      I just don’t think they will co-exist for centuries, if ever.

                      In the meantime, I do think that regional and global federalism is a much more achievable way to mitigate humanity’s evident desire to kill itself.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      hen other nations might be able to produce better quality widgets with fewer resources

                      That’s a physical impossibility and then on top of it you get the added expense of trade.

                      In fact, a lot of the products we import actually use more resources than we would use in terms of such things as burning coal and human labour and yet we still believe that it would cost more to produce those items here. This belief is the result of a financial system that does not price things accurately.

                      I’m not, if that is the most efficient way humanity as a global species can allocate resources (I don’t think it is – I suspect that our rainfall is more conduciveto watermelon crops than, say, Mali’s water resources. Malians deserve melons, too).

                      That’s not what I mean by self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is being able to provide for ourselves all that we need with or without trade. We don’t specifically need melons (although they are rather tasty) and neither do the Malians.

                      BTW, how much water do we actually have, how much do we need to provide for ourselves and thus how much can we afford to export as melons?

                      Physical reality again. We actually need to husband the scarce resources that we have so that we can provide for ourselves indefinitely.

                    • McFlock

                      hen other nations might be able to produce better quality widgets with fewer resources

                      That’s a physical impossibility and then on top of it you get the added expense of trade.

                      Lol.
                      What if the raw widget stuff its 2000m under our fields, but lying around in Mali? Your trade loss is more than made up by our mining expense.

                      What if we’re just really good at getting sprockets to reproduce at five times the rate of Malians? Trade gives us cheap widgets for some of our spare sprockets going to Mali.

                      Now, let’s look beyond your incredibly humble (/sarc) determination of what Malians deserve or need, what if our fields produced loads of grain? And Malian fields didn’t provide enough grain for them to eat? Obviously some deal could be made there, but how would you determine what Malians need as opposed to want? Should they be on half rations? How would your system determine what goes to Mali and what stays here?

                      For that matter, how would your system determine who in NZ “husbands” how much water?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      What if the raw widget stuff its 2000m under our fields, but lying around in Mali? Your trade loss is more than made up by our mining expense.

                      A valid point. We import bauxite from Australia because the ~25 million tonnes in Northland is hard to get to.

                      But that comes against the sustainability thing that I also keep going on about. Eventually Australia will run out of bauxite and we’ll have to mine our own. Australia’s probably going to want to buy some back as well.

                      I figure that we’ve got about another 50 years before our iron sands are exhausted. What do we do for steel then? What about the people who presently depend upon our iron sand and steel exports?

                      These are question that the present system does not take into account. Like I said, our financial system does not price things accurately.

                      Now, let’s look beyond your incredibly humble (/sarc) determination of what Malians deserve or need, what if our fields produced loads of grain?

                      1. I didn’t do that at all. I was merely extrapolating on the example that you used.
                      2. It appears that Mali already produces their own agriculture.
                      3. Mali doesn’t need more food, what they need is to develop their economic infrastructure so that they can get away from being an agriculture centred economy.

                      Obviously some deal could be made there, but how would you determine what Malians need as opposed to want?

                      I wouldn’t. Here’s the point that I’ve been trying to make that you seem to miss:
                      If a country produces enough to provide for itself then it doesn’t need trade. At that point trade happens only in luxury goods and information.
                      This is actually the inevitable point that the world will reach. It’s inevitable because it’s sustainable. Trade isn’t.

                      How would your system determine what goes to Mali and what stays here?

                      You may not have noticed but my system is essentially a market system. I’m really just saying that everything needs to be properly priced with equivalent conditions in all countries. Without that the market doesn’t work and with it long distance trade collapses.

                      For that matter, how would your system determine who in NZ “husbands” how much water?

                      We have this thing called government that should measure the availability of all our resources and puts necessary caps in place to ensure sustainability.

                      Every country needs to do that.

                    • McFlock

                      hey, you said people don’t need watermelons. If that’s not a determination of need vs want, then you’re not using language very clearly, are you. Even if Mali grows cotton.

                      Using your bauxite scenario, the current system suggests that at some point it will be cheaper to drag aluminium out of our rubbish tips rather than mining bauxite anywhere. Same with most other things that are mined if there’s no substitute that’s even cheaper.

                      How does your “market” system make sure everything is “properly priced with equivalent conditions in all countries.”?

                      How do you ensure that all countries price their goods “properly” without some mechanism to determine international consensus?

                      How does your system ensure that every country’s government allocates its resources efficiently?

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.2

            We just more-or-less fucked anyone who lives in the equatorial regions.

            Yep, I’m quite well aware of that. We should probably have taken that 200 year knowledge that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere increases temperature and not built cars or fossil fuelled generators. But we did and so we have a problem.

            How many people do you think NZ can support sustainably? I’m pretty sure that it’s far less than the number that will make their way here if we had open borders.

            What would you do when there’s several hundred million people trying to get to NZ? Most of them won’t survive even if they do get here but neither will anyone already in NZ.

            What’s the plan?

            The only one that’s available to us – close the borders.

            • Philj 1.1.2.1.2.1

              How many people can New Zealand support in a sustainable way? There are studies that show human population of NZ, prior to European settlement was about 200, 000 people. There was fighting between tribes and some evidence that a biological sustainable limit was being reached,moa and huia extinction etc. Some studies have suggested that NZ could sustain, at a reasonable standard of living, around 2 million people. Does anyone know if this is correct, or sustainable? What if this information is correct?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Some studies have suggested that NZ could sustain, at a reasonable standard of living, around 2 million people. Does anyone know if this is correct, or sustainable?

                Wish I knew. Been looking for years for a solid estimate but have never been able to find one. I believe that it’s a critical piece of information and needs to be updated every five years or so to take into account new knowledge.

                What if this information is correct?

                Then we’re already fucked.

        • jcuknz 1.1.2.2

          I tend to side with Draco because the result of unlimited movement is a breakdown of the receiving society. But the end result is that the movement stops as the destination is no longer attractive.

          Rather than accepting unlimited migration we should be looking after these people in their own or neighboring countries. Using our prosperity to fund them get out of their plight.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.2.1

            I think jailing people who fund dictators and wars might just do the trick. Oops, that’s us.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.2.2

            Rather than accepting unlimited migration we should be looking after these people in their own or neighboring countries.

            QFT

            Well, their countries anyway. The neighbouring countries probably have their own problems that need addressing.

            Using our prosperity to fund them get out of their plight.

            They don’t actually need funding. What they need is access to the information and education to do that themselves with their own resources. The resources that the rich countries are presently taking out as fast as they can so that their people can be rich.

      • weka 1.1.3

        “Freedom of movement is a basic human right.”

        Are you suggesting that all countries remove immigration control?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.3.1

          I was thinking more of countries that try and prevent people from leaving.

          As for immigrants, there seems to be no limit to the number of wealthy people allowed in. If all countries did relax their borders would that suddenly make people want to migrate wildly around the world, or is that more often a consequence of the wars and famines we keep dabbling in?

          • weka 1.1.3.1.1

            Having lived in a number of places in the SI where there is pressure from western Europeans who want to immigrate here permanently but can’t jump the hurdles required to get residency, I’d have to say I have no doubt at all that were NZ to remove immigration controls our population would jump massively. NZ is a highly desirable place to live. And because of our geographical isolation, the people arriving will be the well off escaping from Brexit and Trump (but really escaping from their own overcrowded, over done cultures).

            The remaining limits, eg housing, jobs, antipathy from locals, the costs of plane tickets and relocation, would ensure a certain population level where those problems were entrenched even more than they are now.

            I’m not for close borders, but I do think that immigration needs to be managed in the context of sustainability. At the moment that’s not even on the agenda, and gets conveniently forgotton in these political debates.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3.1.1.1

              +111

            • Psycho Milt 1.1.3.1.1.2

              I’d have to say I have no doubt at all that were NZ to remove immigration controls our population would jump massively.

              Fuck, yes. I worked in the NZ Consulate in Hamburg for a bit in the 1990s and occasionally had to answer the phone, which seemed to consist largely of having to disappoint local callers with the news that NZ had a points system for immigration that wasn’t geared to letting ordinary Germans move here.

    • Nic the NZer 1.2

      From the first link from Greg,
      “The fact that wage stagnation stems from intentional policy decisions means that fundamental economic forces did not make these trends inevitable.”

      The key lesson for those wallowing in the lefts inability to deal with the inevitability of ‘globalisation’ (actually neo-liberalism) and its outcomes.

      Major question for the future of work policy, is the actual decline of jobs really due to advancing technology or is it due to the govt not supplimenting the number of jobs available (and using unemployment to target inflation).

      • Greg 1.2.1

        Its not just technology changes that affect jobs, but also the idea that a job for life is outdated.
        https://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/LEW/article/view/1325 (abstract)

        just how many job positions offer long service bonuses,

        Do i need to post a link about robotisation of NZs meatworks.

        Reagan made Corporations a person, taxes and liability ?
        https://mises.org/library/sad-legacy-ronald-reagan-0

        So if a non living entity like Corporations can be recognized as a person by the Government, then why can not robots be taxed as worker replacements.
        Considering human workers taxes cannot be avoided, and make up a significant part of government tax take.
        And with a majority of NZ assets increasingly owned overseas, whats to be spent in NZ. Think black hole.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        Major question for the future of work policy, is the actual decline of jobs really due to advancing technology…

        It’s part of it. Increasing productivity with no other changes must result in a decrease in jobs. The only thing that the economists and politicians have to counter that is that more will be created but the problem with that is that there really is a limit to how many new products can be created at any one time that will be commercially successful (a good example is indie games). And that doesn’t even take into account that very expensive infrastructure needed to produce most new products that most people just don’t have access to or the worlds limited resources.

        The big problem with modern economics is that it’s predicated upon infinity when the real world is limited.

        • Nic the NZer 1.2.2.1

          Why should jobs involve making products? Many don’t.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2.1.1

            Even sustainable items wear out and break.

            • Nic the NZer 1.2.2.1.1.1

              I was replying to Draco and his argument that suggests in order to have jobs we gotta be making more and more stuff.

              Of course his comment is actually showing that if you require jobs either be making stuff (suggested by Draco) or taking advantage of profitable opportunities (main stream economics) then any increase in efficiency results in fewer and fewer jobs being created over all.

              Fortunately there are many jobs which are valuable but meet neither of these criteria of making stuff or being profitable.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.1.2

            I kinda figure that there isn’t any more growth in the service industry either. In fact, I expect jobs there to decline quite rapidly over the next few years.

            Stores will be online and automated so a reduction in store people. You’ll need technicians to maintain them but that’s likely to be one technician to 100+ stores. Although there will be, until driverless vehicles are the delivery vehicle, an increase in drivers I don’t think that that increase will be as much as the number of jobs lost. Flow on effects as will be loss of jobs at gas stations as people no longer go shopping in their cars.

            I expect tax returns will, eventually, be fully automated as well so goodbye to tax accountants and tax lawyers.

            Talking about lawyers, AI tech is getting good enough to read legislation and previous cases now so even in the justice system we could, potentially, see a decrease in personnel there as well.

            Producing burgers can already be done fully automatically so we can expect to see a reduction of staff there as well. University students getting jobs at Maccers will become a thing of the past – they’ll want well trained techs and not untrained and inexperienced kids. Considering the increased competition we can expect those well trained and experienced techs getting minimum wage under the current system.

            All of this applies across the board:

            Rolls Royce is preparing to go full steam ahead with its plans for futuristic cargo ships that can sail in open waters without a crew.

            The British manufacturer is working on a collaborative multimillion-euro project known as the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA) to effect a sea change in maritime transportation.

            • KJT 1.2.2.1.2.1

              I am not really concerned about unmanned ships.

              Especially with Rolls/Royce controls! Cheap crap.

              They cannot even make a ship that can run unattended overnight, let alone across an ocean.

            • miravox 1.2.2.1.2.2

              “I kinda figure that there isn’t any more growth in the service industry either”

              It depends what you mean by services. Product shopping changes from physical to virtual space reduces some types of employment, yes, but there also seems to be a limitless imagination for new services e.g. those based on wellness, the fashion industry and cultural expectations of beauty. The well-being and grooming industries seem to be well in vogue right now.

        • The New Student 1.2.2.2

          +1
          Economists and the like could learn a lot from some E. coil growing in a flask

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.2.1

            Can we then feed them that e.coli. Just pretend the flask is full of instant noodles or something.

  1. Colonial Viper 2

    Obama, for all intents and purposes, carried on the war and droning policies of Bush, Guantanomo Bay remains open with dozens of innocents held for a decade, and continued the bailouts of the bankers instead of the people, sidelining Elizabeth Warren but keeping the ex Goldman Sachs executives around him.

    But yeah hes a good politician alright, a good PR front man and branding for the power elite, whose net wealth skyrocketed under Obama even as jobs, median incomes and savings stagnated or declined under his administration.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      🙄

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        And what good is a constitutional scholar who lectures about US history, but has abrogated the US constitution himself. As well as approving the use of US troops on the homeland against US citizens, which is clearly against Posse Commitatus.

        • Craig H 2.1.1.1

          Obama has attempted to close Guantanamo multiple times, but has been stymied by Congress each time, as they won’t approve a budget to close it, and keep approving budgets to run and staff it.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Guantanamo is a military facility.

            The Joint Chiefs can order those prisoners shifted any time that Obama wants.

            • Craig H 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Not in breach of the law, though – if Congress have passed legislation preventing it, the chiefs shouldn’t follow unlawful orders.

          • b waghorn 2.1.1.1.2

            Since your an Obama cheer leader can you explain why he would have an old man murdered and dumped in the ocean ,instead of arrested and put on trial for mass murder.

            • Craig H 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Defending someone against unfair accusations is not cheerleading. Assuming you’re talking about Osama bin Laden, probably political expediency.

  2. Nic the NZer 3

    Maybe AD could have heeded these words before creating a ‘fact free’ hagiography to European institutions, where European institutions create no problems because all the problems they create are dismissed as irrelevant ‘economic’ issues?

    So there are in fact issues with large political institutions who pay most of their attention to elite concerns.

    But of course on Obamas record he talks a good game but actions speak louder than words… His record shows the political contributions he was elected on were well invested.

    • Ad 3.1

      Must’ve missed where I did that.

      You guys will look back in 2017 and realize Obama has been the hardest-left president the US has had since LBJ.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Richard Nixon was more to the Left than LBJ by a significant distance.

        There is one good thing I will say about Obama – he learnt from the Libya debacle and has steadfastly refused to escalate in Syria like all the neocons are demanding he does.

  3. RedLogix 4

    A very timely and thoughtful piece Ad. Goodness knows we don’t always agree, but on this we’ve hit a convergence of thinking.

    Obama is absolutely right with this. Yes he has in many, many ways dissapointed, betrayed even, many progressive hopes and ideals. He has been far too close to Wall St and the elites he is talking about here. His record with the drone war is nothing to be proud of.

    Yet faced with a deeply obstructive, blatantly hostile GOP he never had much room to move. Witness the never-ending nightmare of gun violence in the USA, look at his heartfelt pleas to do something, anything to reduce it … and still the GOP remains unmoved. Ironically enough the way the US Constitution works is that the US President has relatively little power domestically if the Senate and Congress deny it to him, but has almost unlimited sway to launch military adventures anywhere in the world.

    The so-called ‘leader of the free world’ is in many ways a remarkable un-free man himself. As you say, it is often in the last year or so of their terms these shackles fall away and you see something more of the real person. Fundamentally I view Obama as a good man, thrust into an un-good role.

    We so often bang on about personalities in politics, while not paying enough attention to the systems, institutions and structures they are working in. The truth is that the system rejects kind decent men like Cunliffe, Corbyn and Sanders. The establishment recognises fundamental goodness in a person as a foreign body, and works tirelessly to reject them. Or if cannot outright expel them, it co-opts and corrupts them.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The truth is that the system rejects kind decent men like Cunliffe, Corbyn and Sanders. The establishment recognises fundamental goodness in a person as a foreign body, and works tirelessly to reject them. Or if cannot outright expel them, it co-opts and corrupts them.

      QFT

    • jcuknz 4.2

      The main problem Obama faces is that he is black, which raises the hackles of most of the GOP. If he was white he would make compromise work I am quite sure.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Would Hilary Clinton have had an easier ride from the GOP if she had won? I can’t see it myself…

  4. dukeofurl 5

    Oh dear. Every conspiracy idea to the left of John Pilger will be on display here today.

    • Ad 5.1

      I know, but at the moment i’m enjoying cornering the statist go-kart into the drooping flower bed of the perfumed ultra-left. Its Good for them.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        Oh hell … I’ve NEVER typed this before … but I just choked on my morning coffee!! 🙂

  5. Adrian Thornton 6

    I like to judge people by their actions not their rhetoric, and in that light I won’t miss Obama one little bit, and either will most American workers or the poor, who haven’t been helped or supported by him, or his administration during his fruitless reign (unless you are in the wealthy class of course).
    A few concessions around the edges, but no real substantive changes domestically or internationally, & some would argue worse on this front.

    A small taste of the Obama years….

    Free Trade Under Obama (& H Clinton)
    FTA agreements in Columbia, Korea, Panama, that even at the time, was acknowledged as opening up huge tax havens for wealthy Americans.
    http://www.ibtimes.com/panama-papers-obama-clinton-pushed-trade-deal-amid-warnings-it-would-make-money-2348076
    As we speak, TPPA advocates want to try and force this agreement through congress during it’s ‘lame duck’ period
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/306796/will-us-approve-tpp-in-lame-duck-period
    Though this is unlikely as Clinton has opposed the proposed move, but let’s be very clear, Clinton is pro Free Trade, in all it’s forms, as her own CV well shows.

    Nuclear Arms under Obama.
    The USA is on the brink of developing small scale tactical nuclear weapons, that the military are hoping can be deployed in conventional type battle situations.
    The US now has a 30 year Trillion dollar nuclear programme under way.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2016/4/14/a_new_nuclear_arms_race_builds
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/01/obama-claims-nuclear-weapons-reductions-start-treaty
    Less than a 5% reduction in Nuclear warheads under Obama.

    International Security under Obama.
    US led NATO cold war type military build up and exercises around Russia.
    http://sputniknews.com/us/20160301/1035559132/obama-.html
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/12142645/Mounting-concerns-over-return-to-Cold-War-style-troop-build-up-in-Europe.html

    Lets not even start on the Middle East, and Africa.

    So what that Obama comes out when it doesn’t matter, and utters a few honest words for a change? what about action for working people or the poor..none, just another neo con centrist, wall st, shill, and most probably just like Clinton to come.

    Politicians like Obama are in the long game, more dangerous than Bush.
    Because at least with Bush, everybody knows who the enemy is.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      I like to judge people by their actions not their rhetoric,

      I’ll bet you like judging yourself by your own intentions, and not how they never quite work out the way you hoped.

      • Vinnie 6.1.1

        Individuals are in a unique position to judge their own intentions, that’s true. It’s an uncontroversial point however that we judge someone’s ability to do a job on their record

      • Adrian 6.1.2

        Well as I am not the leader of the most powerful nation on the planet, I hardly think your comment is relevant to the subject we are discussing.

      • Siobhan 6.1.3

        I often make mistakes and stuff up my best intentions…it’s one of the reasons I’ve never run for the office of Prime Minister.
        Do you not think we should expect a teeny tiny bit more from the ‘Leader of the Free World” than we do from ourselves??
        Really, If Obama didn’t want to be judged he should have kept out of World Politics and then he would only have Michelle and the kids to answer to.

        • RedLogix 6.1.3.1

          And I guess this is where I’m different to a lot of people, I’m happy to expect and ask for better from people, and I hold them in withering contempt when they know better and deliberately chose lessor.

          But I’ve also lived enough life to know that none of us are Superman, none of us is perfect, and every flaw, failure and fuckup you ever encounter in another person, is lying latent in all of us. The thing we hate in others, is often nothing more than a dim view in a dark mirror. It only takes the wrong thing to happen and none of us know for certain what we might do.

          I always keep in mind a line from a once very well-known Auckland barrister Mike Bungay; who in an interview with Kim Hill years ago said something like “85% of murders are committed by ordinary people who found themselves in extra-ordinary circumstances they did not know how to deal with”. Does this mean he was condoning or forgiving murder? Of course not, but I always found it a thought which tempered a rush to judgement.

          • Adrian 6.1.3.1.1

            Yes I guess we are quite different, I do hold people who seek and obtain power that effects the very life of our planet to a very high account, and most certainly higher than some person who just happens to end up in some extra ordinary circumstances in their private life.
            I have lived enough life, to have come to this understanding.

  6. Pat 7

    to frame globalisation as a force for good is a clever and disingenuous ploy…who could argue against raising the worlds poor out of poverty and enabling education and opportunity for them.

    How is this to be achieved and who benefits the most is unspoken…globalisation seeks a leveling of the price of labour (downwards in the wealthy west) and a means to overcome demographic imbalances for the benefit of the few……great if you’re one of the few, no so much if you are not.

    And to achieve this lofty goal we must destroy the planet….brilliant.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      The short answer is to set about doing the job properly. The world we live in now is fundamentally different to the one Queen Victoria lived in. We take for granted open travel, transport, communication, and whole rafts of standards, mechanisms, policies and institutions enable the relatively free movement of people, capital, ideas and information.

      What we don’t have is universal human rights, human dignity, human equality, nor any effective political mechanisms to hold this global machinery to democratic accountability.

      • Greg 7.1.1

        Queen Victoria era is the Tories golden times, they want to recreate it.
        Its self evident in most of the National party policy.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        The top 20% of the world take those things you listed for granted. Travel, technology, etc. No one else does.

      • Nic the NZer 7.1.3

        This kind of attitude is what is being addressed by 1.2.

        There are perfectly functional political institutions to address the economic trends of globalisation. The issue is that they are not doing their job its hardly that they can’t do their job. And the issue politically is there is scant recognition of this with many mainstream politicians excusing the status quo with excuses to the effect of claiming there is nothing we can do about it.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.3.1

          not only are they “not doing their job” they have in many cases been thoroughly co-opted or compromised.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.3.2

          There are perfectly functional political institutions to address the economic trends of globalisation.

          No there isn’t. The institutions we have are actually making it worse as they work more and more in favour of the rich.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.4

        The world we live in now is fundamentally different to the one Queen Victoria lived in.

        Actually, the world and its limits are the same. The problem is that the politicians, the economists and the RWNJs don’t recognise those limits.

        What we don’t have is universal human rights, human dignity, human equality, nor any effective political mechanisms to hold this global machinery to democratic accountability.

        Which, of course, is what the deregulation of the last few decades has been all about.

    • Ad 7.2

      Obama isn’t proposing to save the planet. Not even Captain America does that.

      As for raising most of the world out of poverty, that indeed is hard to argue with.

      • Greg 7.2.1

        Its okay for the elite if they cant save the planet, theres the secret moon base to escape too.

      • Pat 7.2.2

        “Obama isn’t proposing to save the planet. Not even Captain America does that.”

        Thats odd, i thought all the signatories to COP21 were…my mistake

        “As for raising most of the world out of poverty, that indeed is hard to argue with.’

        It is, depending on how its achieved and what you replace it with

        • Ad 7.2.2.1

          COP 21 is non-binding.

          How you get there is different to whether you got there.

          • Pat 7.2.2.1.1

            “How you get there is different to whether you got there.”

            Different yes ….and an important difference…we could eradicate poverty tomorrow by executing everyone deemed impoverished….is that a solution?

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.3

        Raising the world out of poverty? You can’t be falling for that old trope, surely. The poorest get a few drippings off the table while the top 1% use them as plantation wage slaves to help rake in half the planets wealth for themselves: and you consider this PR a valid moral justification?

  7. Bill 8

    So let’s summarise this.

    Obama is saying it’s time to loosen the screws a bit.

    What’s interesting is what Obama isn’t saying – there is absolutely no question that the economy should be viewed through a chrematistic lens – ie, roughly speaking, that everything should be ordered according the shake out that occurs from the making of money.

    That leaves economists very much in charge and politicians in the sole position of convincing us to dance to the tune that the economists are playing. And Obama, as his role dictates, makes a fair go of doing just that.

  8. Coreyhumm 9

    Lol another post about how wonderful globalism and the elites who have ignored the working class for nearly 40 years are oh wonderful so many Tories in red ties these days…. This is why left wing parties no longer can connect at all with the working class and why in November, Trump will be elected President out of anger with the status quo

    Brexit taught us the unwashed masses don’t want a bar of what you’re selling.

    If the left continue to push elistist neolibs on the people they’ll vote for the ignorant isolationist just to stick it to the elitist left.

    Also Obama isn’t a good guy, he’s a bad guy, he’s bombed more people than Bush, he’s deported more people than all presidents combined his treatment of whistle blowers, and economic policies are neoliberal and right wing to the core same as Hillary Clinton and I for one think the us election will be a kind of referendum on globalism and neo liberalism and the globalists wowon’t win.

  9. Colonial Viper 10

    by the way, the power elite arent “taking” over the world; they finished doing that in the 70s and 80s.

    • Ad 10.1

      Define elite.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Multi billion dollar hedge fund managers. The boards of directors of Northrup Grumman and Boeing. The top tier hierarchy at the NSA and CIA. Jamie Dimon and the rest of the investment banking elite. The senior neocons. These and the other attendees at Bildergberg meetings.

        • Ad 10.1.1.1

          I’m guessing that you’re saying that their cumulative effect is the same on the world, even if their tasks, drivers, and reporting lines are different.

          Which is possible.
          We proles probably look exactly the same to them!

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1

            Big Oil and Big Motors bought up and tore up all the tram way lines in LA. Sounds like a conspiracy theory, except it happened.

            The strait jacket that our society finds itself in is not comprised of just one binding or just one buckle.

            • Ad 10.1.1.1.1.1

              I really can’t figure out now whether agency – the capacity of people to change stuff – is on the whole increasing or decreasing. For every decline in voting and democracy so beloved of the left, there are huge waves of greater personalized connectivity and agency popping up taking new generations by storm.

              One group’s conspiracy is another group’s plan.

              Over the weekend I’ll start having a look at whether we really are at another “yawn” End Of History moment – except this time about the collapse of the “Liberal World Order”.

              And I’ll try to keep it under 300 words. For the kids 😉

              • Colonial Viper

                there are huge waves of greater personalized connectivity and agency popping up taking new generations by storm.

                That’s what it looks like on (corporate owned and controlled) social media. But who holds the levers of financial capital? The military industrial surveillance complex? The energy infrastructure of our nations?

                Has the Granny Herald on the Dom Post suddenly given new voice to the impoverished and marginalised?

                It ain’t these peaceniks pushing “like” on Face Book who own the establishment levers of power.

  10. Aaron 11

    I get what you’re trying to say but this bit is just wrong:

    “…global elites have been inattentive to the issues of wages, incomes, and opportunity for ordinary people.”

    Global elites have been VERY attendant to these issues — which is why they’ve all declined over the last 30 years

    In any case, Obama is smart enough to know what he can and can’t get away with saying – so yes, he understands the issues but clearly lacks the power to do much about them (despite being the highest ranking politician on the planet).

    • Ad 11.1

      For a president who has neither House aligned with him, he’s done OK.
      You’ll realize how leftie he was soon enough.

      I would love someone to do a decent post explaining to me what all these elites are. Either in the full wing-nut conspiracy version about the Bilderberg-intermarried-interowned-CIA-KGB thing thing, or in just a couple of little bites at the cherry.

      • Crashcart 11.1.1

        I think the mistake you are making is assuming that this is some vast designed conspiracy. It is more along the lines of people with wealth using wealth to improve upon their own position and thereby increase their wealth.

        It’s not like they are getting together in smoky rooms and coming up with plans to best fuck over the working man cause they is just evil. They use money personally to influence policy in a manner that benefits them. Occasionally when interests align they will work together to achieve a goal. In the end most of these guys would happily screw over another just to improve their own situation. Just as they happily screw over those with less money.

        Those are the elites. Those whose voice by virtue of money far exceeds the individual voice of any normal member of society.

        • Ad 11.1.1.1

          No you won’t see me going all Doom-Cult on elites or whatever.
          And you sure won’t see me over-subscribing to their collective force.
          I was being polite to Aaron, which is where your comment is better directed.

        • mikes 11.1.1.2

          “It’s not like they are getting together in smoky rooms and coming up with plans…”

          So what’s discussed at Bilderberg Group meetings then?

  11. “Of course, he’s come to the end of his two terms and is somewhat freer in naming the powers. There’s little more he can do to further burnish his historical place. But at minimum it shows that good politicians when considering the economy can make the right links, focus on where the power is and where it needs redistributing to, and be mindful of the historical shoulders he’s standing on. You just don’t often see it in print, as a verbatim conversation. Compared to what passes for joining the dots in our current parliament, I think I’m going to miss him.”

    Or maybe he just understands in great detail exactly who he’s been pissing on.

  12. Olwyn 13

    Obama to me epitomises a problem with the official left – he says the right things but he lacks hunger. When I see him making a speech on something like the availability of guns, he seems more like a news anchor doing an opinion piece than a president. Yes, he has the congress against him, I accept that, but there is still none of the drive and resourcefulness you see in someone who is determined to find a way through. This kind of determination has become the province of the right, and is not nearly so evident on our side – not nearly enough “They hate me and I welcome their hatred” attitude. They make moves, we make pleas. I hope the movements behind Sanders and Corbyn continue to build force, whatever happens in the short term.

    • GregJ 13.1

      That is a very astute observation Olwyn.

      In a sense it is like the religious Reformation and the Counter-Reformation of the 16th Century.

    • Colonial Viper 13.2

      Look at what happens to Obama when he makes a campaign speech about Trump. And the teleprompter goes down.

      • Ad 13.2.1

        Definitely a set-piece guy.

        Best POTUS off-the-cuff in my lifetime was Clinton.
        That guy could play an audience like a black grand piano.

      • Olwyn 13.2.2

        Oh dear, so he’s even more like a news anchor than I thought 🙂

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  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago