The new world order

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, February 18th, 2017 - 60 comments
Categories: capitalism, China, Economy, Europe, Globalisation, International, Japan, us politics - Tags: ,

We live in interesting times.

In the United States an outsider has succeeded in becoming POTUS.  He scared the bejeebers out of many of us by promising all sorts of crazy things like building a wall to stop Mexicans from immigrating, making them pay for it, basically destroying the Environmental Protection Authority, killing the Affordable Care Act which provides millions of Americans with health care they will no longer have, supporting torture, undermining family planning throughout most of the world, reopening projects that will accelerate global warming … etcetera etcetera etcetera …

The land of the free and the home of the brave is not looking so free or brave any more.  But the situation that it was already in was one that allowed Trump’s rallying cry of “make America great again” strike a chord and allowed him to be elected, failed electoral system, gerrymandered seats, voter suppression and all.  What is going on?

Nick Bryant from the BBC summarised America’s decline in these terms in pre Trump days:

Standing on the Washington Mall at the turn of the new millennium, it was impossible not to be struck by America’s power and global pre-eminence.

Victory in the Cold War made it the hegemon in a unipolar world.

Few argued when the 20th Century was dubbed the “American Century”, a term first coined in the early 1940s when the country was still overcoming its isolationist instincts.

Even the New Year’s fireworks, which illuminated the obelisk of the Washington Monument in a way that made it resemble a giant number one, projected the country’s supremacy as the world’s sole superpower.

Over the past 15 years, America’s fortunes have changed with dizzying speed.

First came the tremors: the dot-com bust and a disputed presidential election in 2000. Then came the massive convulsions: the destruction of the Twin Towers in 2001 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

Long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have exacted an enormous blood price – the lives of 6,852 American military personnel – not to mention immense financial expense, estimated to be as high as $6 trillion (£3.9tn).

The detention centre at Guantanamo Bay has undermined American ideals, just as the NSA and Wikileaks spying scandals have undercut American diplomacy.

George W Bush, a president with a Manichean worldview, was widely seen as over-eager to project America’s military might, without adequately considering the long-term consequences.

Barack Obama, who campaigned in 2008 on a platform of extricating America from its unpopular and exhausting wars, has drawn criticism for disengaging too much.

Under both presidents – the first an impulsive unilateralist, the second an instinctive multilateralist content sometimes to lead from behind – America’s global standing has been diminished.

And at the same time as America’s fortunes have been declining the focus of economic activity has changed from the west to the east.  Professor Michael Cox from the London School of Economics and Political Science describes the changes in this way:

Few but the most pessimistic envisaged that any other power would likely rise to balance its vast power in the future. On the contrary, after having seen off the USSR, and then having experienced an eight year economic boom of its own, America and Americans could reasonably look forward to another very American century. In fact, so buoyant was the mood by the end of the 1990s, that several writers began to talk of the United States as the new Rome on the Potomac, even a modern “empire” possessing global reach, an infinite surplus of soft power, and a vast military machine to match. For some indeed the US had become the greatest power in history with one very obvious distinguishing feature: unlike its great power predecessors from the Romans to the British, this one would never decline.

It is often said that before every great fall there is a period of grace. So it was perhaps with the last hubristic decade of the twentieth century. But the fall when it came was profound indeed; to such an extent that one American magazine was later forced to concede that the years between 2000 and 2010 had been nothing less than “the decade from hell”.

It began of course with 9/11 and the strategically inept response to this by the Bush administration. It continued with the gradual erosion of economic certainty which finally culminated with the great geopolitical setback of the western financial crisis. And it went from bad to worse in some eyes when it became increasingly clear that the West itself was facing a massive challenge from other non-western players in the world capitalist economy.

When Goldman Sachs launched the idea of the “BRICs” in 2001, only economists (and not many of them) took the idea very seriously. But as the years passed, and the economic data began to flow in, it began to look as if the author of the original notion, Jim O‟Neill, had been brilliantly prescient. Indeed, his core idea based on careful economic study – namely that the future economic order would be less dominated by the West than it would be by giant economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China – seemed to provide irrefutable proof that the world was in the midst of a global revolution.

The causes of this were multiple. But one thing was obvious. The axis of the international system which had for several centuries revolved around the Atlantic was moving elsewhere – either towards Asia as a region, or more generally towards something vaguely referred to by the influential columnist, Fareed Zakaria, as the “rest”.

Nor was this Zakaria or O’Neill’s view alone. In 2004 the then editor of Foreign Affairs had warned the West that there was a potentially disturbing “power shift in the making”.  A few years on and one of the more influential liberal writers on world politics made much the same point. It was no longer a question of whether wealth and power were moving away from the West and the North, according to John Ikenberry. That much was self-evident. The big question now he continued was “what kind of global political order” would emerge as a consequence.

Both of the above passages were written pre POTUS Trump.

The current POTUS seems to have a real thing for Russia which is interesting because ever since the second World War the US and the USSR have been sworn enemies.  Sure after the disintegration of the USSR it was no longer a threat although after intensive privatisation of state owned assets an oligarchy class developed which had ultra right wing views of how things should occur and the place has looked rather unstable.  And it seems that Trump’s and Putin’s world views are starting to converge.  They both lead states that were formerly pre eminent but more recently have clearly been on the decline.  I guess they now have a lot in common not only in the situation they find themselves in but also in their approach to finding a solution.

And on the other hand we have China.

Since the second world war China has developed from a basket case terrorised by Japan to a Communist state to now having the largest economy in the world, a position that it has held for 18 of the last 20 centuries.  So in one respect this is not China emerging, it is a resumption of business as usual.

Suddenly China is offering real world leadership on the most important issues that we are facing.  For instance in climate change the world’s best chance may be for China to continue with the accelerated roll out of green technology that it has recently engaged in.

And this has geopolitical implications.  From Salon:

Beijing is poised to cash in on the goodwill it could earn by taking on leadership in dealing with what for many other governments is one of the most urgent issues on their agenda.

“Proactively taking action against climate change will improve China’s international image and allow it to occupy the moral high ground,” Zou Ji, deputy director of the National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and a senior Chinese climate talks negotiator, told Reuters.

Zou said that if Trump abandons efforts to implement the Paris agreement, “China’s influence and voice are likely to increase in global climate governance, which will then spill over into other areas of global governance and increase China’s global standing, power and leadership.”

What are the implications for world peace of this changing of the current order?  The last couple of times the dominant world order has changed the process did not go so well.

Ian Morris from Stanford University has summarised the situation in these terms:

When power and wealth shifted across the Atlantic from Europe to America in the mid-20th Century, the process was horrifyingly violent. As we move into the mid-21st century, power and wealth will shift across the Pacific from America to China.

The great challenge for the next generation is not how to stop geography from working; it is how to manage its effects without a Third World War.

That last sentence really struck a chord with me.  With Trump having access to the nuclear code and his White House being that slack that the holder of the Nuclear briefcase had his photo published on social media in a selfie with a rich Republican donor I am afraid that anything is possible.

We live in interesting times …

60 comments on “The new world order ”

  1. Henry Filth 1

    “The last couple of times the dominant world order has changed the process did not go so well.”

    And these were?

    • mickysavage 1.1

      1800s with wars all over the place and the US ascension during the second world war.

      • Michael 1.1.1

        You’ve got your analogies wrong. The first world order of any real sort emerged after the defeat of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna in 1815. It lasted for almost a century, until the First World War broke out in 1914. During that time, the world was not at peace, any more than it is today, but at least there was an absence of war that involved the entire populations of adjoining nations (notably in Europe). During that century, it is a fact that western societies enjoyed peace. The second iteration of world order began c1946, with the establishment of institutions of globaly order (notably the United Nations, but also the IMF, World Bank, WTO etc). It lasted until c1990 when the Soviet empire collapsed and the American empire believed itself to be unrestrained. There were still many vicious wars between 1946-1990, with millions of victims, but at least we didn’t fry ourselves in nuclear war. The third iteration has yet to emerge and may never do so.

  2. Andre 2

    Seems to me the Ian Morris piece makes the mistake of thinking the dominant factors of the past will remain the dominant factors of the future. But it looks to me like demographics of various nations will have a much larger influence on the future world order than it has in the past.

    For instance, in the late 80s early 90s, Japan was poised to become a big player in the new world order, but it didn’t happen. An ageing Japanese population is often cited as a major reason why it didn’t happen. I find it interesting to compare the population pyramids for 1995 Japan and 2015 China.

    https://populationpyramid.net/japan/1995/

    https://populationpyramid.net/china/2015/

    Certainly China is moving resources into playing a much larger role in global affairs, with their leadership in green tech, their interest in opening new universities and research centres (while the US is going backwards in those areas).But their rapid rise in influence is soon going to taper off due to an ageing population, much like Japan’s did.

    I strongly suspect Trump will become a seagull president. At some point, enough Repugs will decide he’s too much of a liability to their personal political futures, and Trump will be gone. The question will be how much the world order changes before then. There will be a small silver lining in that it will cause many countries to have a serious think about their place in the world.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      I agree demographics will play a larger and larger part in change and your example of Japan is a good one.

      Environmental disaster is the big difference this time around and I am sure will add a really difficult edge to change that does happen.

      • Andre 2.1.1

        I’m still picking demographics being a bigger near-term influence than climate change.

        Because many nations that are currently a big influence in the world order are less likely to be severely affected by climate change effects expected soon, but have demographic changes with big societal effects coming soon. A big baby boomer cohort retiring soon. (Interestingly, for all the noise made in the US about the retirement time bomb coming, it looks to me like the US problem is much smaller than many other countries. Possibly due to immigration).

        Conversely, the countries where climate change is really going to hit painfully hard and soon (southern asia, middle east, sub-saharan africa) really aren’t big players in the current world order.

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          I was in Japan last year. It is a fascinating place, very monocultural yet the people are very friendly and civil to tourists. Even at this stage Japan’s future is problematic with the population already receding and dramatic population reductions being predicted in the forseeable future. And the level of immigration is very low and there appears to be no sign of this changing.

          The place will provide an interesting experiment in how a world that is hooked on consumption and growth will handle things.

          I suspect though that the effects of climate change will ripple through the world even though as you say the nations most susceptible to change arn’t big players on the world scene. Syria is arguably an example of things to come. Its destabilisation arguably started with climate change destroying its agricultural sector and an administration totally unfit for the job created a crisis when dealing with civic dissent. Millions of refugees later …

          • Andre 2.1.1.1.1

            I’m worried India is where the climate shit is really going to hit the fan. Already a high population density, a young average age so the population is going to continue growing fast (even though the birth rate has dropped a lot), very vulnerable to climate change, nuclear armed…thankfully their history of military aggressiveness is fairly low.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m worried India is where the climate shit is really going to hit the fan.

              I’m thinking right across the Euro/Asia/Africa equator area.

              As the world warms up the equator is going to become uninhabitable and the hundreds of millions of people living there are going to want to move and the places – north and south – aren’t the most friendly and are going to be having their own problems.

  3. joe90 3

    We live in interesting times …

    Dynastic, even….

    Not a single representative from the State Department was reportedly present for White House meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week. Instead, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, who has no diplomatic experience or regional expertise, was given a central role in the meeting, according to a CBS News report late Thursday. Acting Deputy Secretary of State Tom Shannon was officially scheduled to take Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s place in one of the meetings with Netanyahu, but then reportedly was shut completely out of the White House gathering.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/02/17/no-state-dept-officials-inlucded-in-israel-netanyahu-bibi-talks.html?via=desktop&source=copyurl

  4. Ad 4

    The Trump administration is such a complex moment.

    Trump will settle and get to a point where Senate, Congress, Supreme Court, and Presidency are the opposite of constitutional checks and balances: they become accelerants in the bonfire of the public sector. (The latest case where the new Head of the EPA was actually caught cutting and pasting oil company letters into his own state Attorney-General decision letters is simply the most overt).

    The net effect is that the remaining role of democracy for the United States federal level is to accelerate its own entropy.

    The new democratic orders will come from Facebook, Baidu, Google, and the credit-profile aggregators. These platforms have more effect on whether we are accepted in the community or become outcasts – and do a much better job of it for many crimes than the U.S. or N.Z. justice sector.

    U.S. versions of democracy then get shorn away from citizen-membership in a physical state. Which is great for corporations, who have existed for a century with a strong U.S. state regulating them. The 99% only exist as consumers. I can’t see war occurring if U.S. corporations now get everything they want: who benefits?

    Whereas in China the state remains as resolute as it is totalitarian. Remaining strong states keep the interests of the economy and the state tied closely together rather than peeling away from each other.

    Neither China nor the U.S. are now interventionist enough for direct confrontation, is my view. China because it’s a long policy position. U.S. because it’s in full Lindberg mode.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      You could argue that Trump is a symptom of America’s disintegration rather than its cause …

      I never thought that I would basically be saying that New Zealand should look to China for its future, not America.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        I never thought that I would basically be saying that New Zealand should look to China for its future, not America.

        I said it here about 6 weeks ago.

      • Ad 4.1.2

        New Zealand should look to itself for its future. Not anyone else.
        Helen Clark positioned New Zealand between China, and the US/Australia pole pretty perfectly.

        If we had international diplomacy on the scale of Helen Clark, we would have stood up and told Australia to follow our example as actively as possible. Instead the most impressive thing our current Prime Minister can show Mr Turnbull this week is that he can shear a sheep.

        It’s much easier to think of an internal economic shift within the U.S. from the eastern seaboard to California.

        If Trump continues Obama’s interventionist withdrawal, the big global shift will be not spatially to either China or the US, but instead to a capitalism unfettered by regulation, and less interrupted or accelerated by military action.

    • Skeptic 4.2

      “Trump will settle and get to a point where Senate, Congress, Supreme Court, and Presidency are the opposite of constitutional checks and balances: they become accelerants in the bonfire of the public sector. ”

      Not in this lifetime mate – what planet are you living on?

  5. Morrissey 5

    The current POTUS seems to have a real thing for Russia…

    If by “having a real thing for Russia”, you mean that he has not actually threatened to go to war against Russia, then you’re correct.

    … after the disintegration of the USSR it was no longer a threat although after intensive privatisation of state owned assets an oligarchy class developed which had ultra right wing views of how things should occur and the place has looked rather unstable.

    Remind us again, will you: which “superpower” boasted of its interference in the Russian elections throughout the 1990s, interference which guaranteed the triumph of these right wing oligarchs?

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-meddling-in-1996-russian-elections-in-support-of-boris-yeltsin/5568288

    And it seems that Trump’s and Putin’s world views are starting to converge.

    What on Earth do you mean by that?

  6. Carolyn_nth 6

    When Dubya was elected president, I predicted that he would initiate, or oversee the beginning of the decline of the US. So far I haven’t changed my mind on the US in decline.

    But, there is a possibility of a shift to the anglophile, European imperialist domination of the past.

    OTOH, the rise of the south and east Asian states is another possibility.

    Plus climate change and population issues, are the wild cards.

    BTW, there has been some criticism of the Putin-Trump photo-shopped images as being homophobic. I have been pondering on this. Certainly, doing this with 2 macho misogynist men suggests an attempt to emasculate them.

    How would such an amalgamation, say of Thatcher & Reagan images have worked? Or Trump & May? How would that change the gendered meanings?

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Change is the only constant in life.

    The only question that remains is: Do we engage our intelligence and control ourselves during the change or do we go all reactionary and try to keep things as they are?

    The capitalists are, of course, trying to keep things as they are and are thus making the changes that will happen have even greater consequences.

  8. Wayne 8

    The Chinese economy is 70% the size of the US economy, though due to the disparity in population Chinese per capita GDP is around 30% of that of the US. But that is substantial, similar to US GDP per capita in the 1940’s and early 1950’s.

    Sometime in the 2020’s (probably late) the Chinese economy will overtake the US. But not in sophistication. It will be many decades before China can build a large passenger jet as efficient as the Boeing 787.

    China also has a population structure problem. In fact the US now has a faster population growth and a younger population.

    What does all mean?

    Essentially the US will no longer be the single superpower. China will be there as well for most of the 21st century. India may also get there in the latter part of the 21st century.

    We looked at all of this during the 2010 and 2016 Defence Review. In fact this was the most challenging aspect of these reviews. We concluded the US remains the dominant power through to 2050, essentially for four reasons.

    First. As a democracy, the US has generally more cultural and economic appeal than China. This plays into the second factor.

    Second. It will be impossible for China to replicate the US network of alliances and deep partnerships. In fact China has no close allies (apart from North Korea), though it has many economic partners. The US alliance network will not disappear for many decades. Witness the anxiety at even a hint of the weakening of NATO.

    Third. US military power will remain the most powerful for some decades ahead. The technical edge is currently at least two decades ahead of China. As an example the US has had advanced stealth aircraft in service for 20 years (the F22 and the B2) whereas the Chinese stealth aircraft are clearly less advanced than the F22 and are still a decade away from being in service.

    For NZ, that means the US will be the dominant military power in the Pacific, even if not East Asia. It would be expected that China will have dominancy in the East and South China Sea, although that will not be uncontested. Japan, Vietnam and the US will remain important players in the area, so China will not be able to do as it pleases.

    Fourth. The US still looks to be the most innovative economy in the world, aided by many other centres of innovation. Israel for instance.

    Our conclusion was that the US would remain NZ’s and Australia’s principal security partner for at least the next three decades. And that is even before taking into account the fundamental issue of common values. We could not envisage that China would be able to substitute for the US in that regard. The fact that China is an authoritarian single party state being a central reason.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      Thanks Wayne. Your comment is very logical but as I say we live in strange times …

      Firstly we are talking about different things. I am referring to the overall importance of the relationship whereas your comments are clearly aimed at military considerations.

      In response to the rationale presented for your conclusion I would suggest that things are moving fast and a reappraisal is in order.

      Specifically:

      1. The US is now a flawed democracy. The appeal is lessening.
      2. True but under Trump a wholesale retreat by the US from being an international player and the international peacekeeper is on the cards.
      3. Im not sure about the technical edge. China has shown itself very adept and developing and assimilating technological change from overseas. And there is much more to international relations than who has the stealthiest airplane.
      4. Im also not sure about the US being the most innovative economy. The GFC suggests that its claimed superiority in this area is built on sand.

      And what would happen if the US teamed up formally or informally with Russia and at the same time left NATO?

      • Poission 8.1.1

        Its not that we live in strange times,it is that a number of actors suggest we live in a non linear reality ,with hyper reality warfare being the new normal.

        For example the Gerasimov doctrine discussed here.

        http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20160228_art009.pdf

      • Skeptic 8.1.2

        Sorry Micky, but I’m pretty sure Wayne is correct in his assessment, if a tad too optimistic about China and India and a bit understated about US military and economic performance. You mistake the current shambolic state of affairs in US politics with the underlying US establishment and institutions, and vastly over state China’s potential.
        1. US democracy has survived worse than Trump and emerged stronger for it – read your US history. Democracy is so deeply rooted in American psych it will take much, much more than Trump to upset it. You did live through Vietman and its aftermath – did you?
        2. Do not ever mistake Trump and his executive as USA. At the moment Trump is being shut out of just about every meaningful decision – just like when Nixon had his “breakdown” – the US establishment can handle the next 100 days till Pence gets the job after impeachment.
        3. Chins is hamstrung because it isn’t innovative – it’s a great copier, but there hasn’t been a significant invention out of Chins since the Ming dynasty – read your world history chum.
        4. Again re-read your world economic history – for the last 150 years the USA has been the number one innovative powerhouse in world economics. Yes the EU has matched it in some respects, but militarily, US leads.

        As far as US leaving NATO – not in your lifetime or mine. As for teaming up with Russia – not while Putin is in charge – he’s KGB!!!

      • Wayne 8.1.3

        mickysavage

        Yes, I did rather focus on military issues, but that was because I was trying to give some insight into the thinking of the two Defence Reviews.

        There is a theory that the US and China will/should team up as mutual guarantors of Asia Pacific security with each having specific strengths.

        Given that Trump spent a fair chunk of his “press conference” laying out why it was important for the US to have good relations with Russia, it would not surprise me if he concludes that there are merits in working things out with China on similar lines.

        In my view the press and the “establishment” continue to underestimate Trump. He is a disrupter (and is disruptive). And his Russia comments prove that. Expect Trump to not just talk, but also to act. But that won’t include leaving NATO, it will just be less important than now.

        Since the President sets the foreign policy agenda (not Congress) he might be able to drive through some of these grand international bargains he keeps talking about. Perhaps Nixon (in his China strategy) is his model. Without Watergate Nixon would be regarded as one of the great Presidents on the twentieth century.

        If Trump does do a co-gurantor deal with China, a lot of the current tension will melt out of the Asia Pacific. Overall New Zealand would think that was a good thing.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.3.1

          I watched Trump’s Nuremburg rally fail press conference. I saw him crumble when challenged on the electoral college numbers. “I’ve seen that information somewhere”.

          That you can watch the same sad display and talk about this man “concluding” something speaks volumes, I’m sure, just not about him.

          So the only real power he has is on the foreign policy front, on which he and his little gang are utterly clueless and hopelessly compromised. Peace in our time, says Wayne.

          Impeachment by lunchtime more like. Pfft.

    • Ad 8.2

      I struggle with a couple of those points. I don’t claim to be a security analyst.

      We haven’t had a threat to our borders in 80 years.

      Our security threats, as far as the eye can see, are economic, not military. I’m not saying we don’t need a military. Hell I would have preferred we went in boots and all in some Pacific cases.

      Our economic security threats are from nations who put up the highest tariffs against us. Since that’s my lens:

      1. Chinese New Zealanders, and broadly Asian migrants, are a far more important feature of our democracy than US migrants ever will be. That means turn to Asia, not the US.

      2. The need for the deep post-WW2 alliances really has faded, and the Five Eyes community has been so hopelessly politicized, as to have real questions over the global need for our place in it. If Five Eyes disappeared tomorrow, would it really pass the necessity test? Nothing like asking the question.

      3. The military technological advances point is fair. But not relevant to New Zealand. Far more relevant I think is if the US did the world a favour and packed up Guam and decamped to Hawaii. Again, it’s been stable here for 80 plus years. There is no need for a militarized Pacific. It would do the Pentagon’s ego some good if our military procurement was at least widened out.

      4. Innovation really matters only to really technologically-reliant countries, and our economy is one of the least technologically reliant around (for the value of stuff it produces). China needs our stuff and our version of innovation far more than the US, and countries such as India have more price upside for our goods. Our export diversification by country is huge now, and we don’t have to keep rubber-stamping old colonial memes.

      May not work yet, but the debate will come: is our economic security future, and hence our overall security, more with east Asia than with the US?

      We successfully prepared for one shift when Britain became a member of the Common Market, under Muldoon. Under a competent and bold government, we can prepare for another great shift.

      • Wayne 8.2.1

        Ad,

        The principal reason why the Pacific is stable and has been for 70 years is the predominance of US military power (naval and air). Also in East Asia, no state has seriously contested the borders of any other. Again US power was a reason, though in this case not the only reason.

        Take that predominance away (or have another power large enough to contest it) and you enter a zone of risk.

        This is the reason why the Chinese reclaimed bases in the South China Sea have created such alarm. Are they are precursor to a much more contested situation, akin to the Cold War? Obviously everyone hopes not, but it is easy to see why they have raised such concerns.

        Until recently China could not have done that since they lacked the capability, but now they can. And they have the confidence of newly acquired power.

        Where will it lead? One of the rest debates of our time.

        However, China will not be able to seriously contest the Pacific (as opposed to the East and South China Seas).

        Incidentally Guam is sovereign United States territory along with the Northern Marianas, Wake, Midway, American Samoa, and many other islands doted across the Pacific. The US will not be giving them up.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1.1

          The serial rapist fool and right wing hero in the White House = power vacuum. Let’s hope it’s confined to Washington.

        • Macro 8.2.1.2

          The principal reason why the Pacific is stable and has been for 70 years is the predominance of US military power (naval and air). Also in East Asia, no state has seriously contested the borders of any other. Again US power was a reason, though in this case not the only reason.

          Korean war?
          Vietnam?
          Malaysian Confrontation?

          Not saying that US military presence hasn’t been important but even the US has its limitations.

          • Wayne 8.2.1.2.1

            Korean war, yes that is an exception.

            Vietnam, well yes that was big, very big. It is the major confrontation since WW2, even though it was essentially civil war. In 1979 when Vietnam defeated China, that was when China realised it had to open to the rest of the world. It is also the last major war in East Asia.

            Confrontation, it was really quite small.

            It is certainly true there has been no significant war in Asia since 1980, though there are some insurgencies (Burma, Philippines).

            So I would have to concede Vietnam and Korea.

  9. Red 9

    Mickey you are talking fantasy opioniated drivel, stoked by your blatant anti American world view than anything else. All democracy are flawed in some sense, The US is a democracy at least, china is not a democracy, there is no separation of judiciary and state, it is unlikely the conflict between china capitalist economic model and communist political model will survive long term as the two naturally opposed systems clash. China has huge disparity in wealth with the poor, really poor ( thus a powder keg of tension) , geographic tensions re prosperous east coast vs it’s western interior provinces, not to mention suppressed tension with up to 50 ethnic minorities and an aging population with massive environmental issues. The strength of America and its institutions beyond all the bumps in the road is its ability to reinvent itself, it survived the 1930s depression, two world wars, Cold War, Dotcom bust, GFC, The former it came out of
    much quicker and stonger than Europe testament to it reinvention capacity over more socialist economies, It will survive Trump, the US strength is basicaly it’s ability to adapt to change, thus the more change actually benifits the US over all others , This is not the case for China and it top down, political elite ruling authoritarianism. Likewise I think you will find the quality of US patent submissions far outstrips china from an innovation point of view, albeit china has volume with much of it of dubious merit

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      The Economist magazine’s Intelligence Unit recently downgraded the USA from “full democracy” to “flawed democracy”.

      Please try and keep up with world events before running your mouth.

      As for patents, quantity is no indicator of quality.

      • Red 9.1.1

        what did it rate china

        Your second point is my point, quantity is not quality

        Now back to your Meds and straight jacket key board warrior

        [Chill out red. Commenting is a privilege. Make your case without the ad hominem attack – MS]

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1

          No, the point I’m making is that your nasty hostile attack on MS simply revealed your ignorance to everyone. Unless I suppose you think the Economist sponsors “fantasy opioniated [sic] drivel, stoked by… [their] …blatant anti American world view”.

          Ergo. the rest of your “opion” can be dismissed out-of-hand. You may be right about the relative positions of China and the USA, but someone credible and well-informed needs to say so.

          Enjoy your little tanty.

          • Red 9.1.1.1.1

            I suspect you are struggling that you agree with me OAB but that’s ok 😀😀😀 no tanty here petal just getting ad holmium in early as you have form, but I hear you mickey, ( apoligies for opening comment above) I don’t want resident standard bother boy enforcer on my case, so I will desist

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I suspect you need to look up the definition of “may”.

              I’m skeptical about any binary world view. China = bad, USA = good just indicates limited understanding of either.

              Is “holmium” the name of those meds you were on about?

    • Ad 9.2

      Perfect illustration of the value of your response: you could interchange the words “U.S.” and “China” in your little upchuck quite easily. Go find a fact and use it.

      • Red 9.2.1

        If you are comparing US institutions, politcal and legal system, economy etc as the same as China, you are really more than deluded, by the way what fact do you disagree with

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.1

          China lacks the rule of law. POTUS attacks the rule of law. We’re going to find out exactly how strong those alleged checks and balances are.

          Ad points out that you have cited precisely zero facts, by the way.

          Being able to see that the USA is sliding downhill (cf: flawed democracy) does not indicate support for China, just to save you wasting more of everyone’s time.

          • Red 9.2.1.1.1

            Agree but you overplay trump as a bogey man, time will tell irrespective US will see him off eventually as they do every POTUS I mean the tea party where just as manic as the left on trump ,( well that’s probably a bit unfair) that Obama was the end of the world and the American dream Don’t get so wrapped up so much on the moment and sound bites of the popular press As the Chinese say, it’s far to early to tell ,

            I think china having an aging pop, ethnic tension, economic disparity between east west, a clash between capitalist economic and political systems, severe air quality and pollution issue are facts ( just for a start)

            I am not sure what I am to read into the economist saying the US is a flawed democracy, so what, what democracy isn’t, and if it is matarial then china democracy is really flawed so it must have even bigger issues

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.1.1.1

              It’s measured by a range of indicators. They were at pains to point out that the recent electoral trainwreck isn’t a factor.

              As for the comparison, the USA’s trajectory is down. Is China’s up? They certainly face all the problems you’ve listed. Improvement happens slowly. Empires collapse quickly. There’s a reason people are talking about Stefan Zweig and “exit strategies”. Hope they’re wrong.

              PS: I saw your “truce” comment. “Don’t forget to be kind to one another” 😆

  10. Skeptic 10

    Although the news quotes are numerous, I think this piece does little justice to history and current affairs – economic and military. Fact – since 1917, Russia & USSR have been trying to get a highly placed source in the White House – well, it took 100 years, but finally they’ve got their man as POTUS. Trump is either a blackmailed agent under SVR control or an “unwitting” agent who does what the Kremlin wants because of his own ego and world view. Already we’ve had several not so subtle hints that real intelligence is being withheld from Trump, because he’s not to be trusted. Given the FBI, CIA, NSA and UKs SIS knowledge of Trump’s past, I really can’t see Trump lasting the 100 days. Once the Senate and Congress get back in session, look for an early impeachment process on two grounds – a) failure to separate himself from his business affairs (unconstitutional) and b) lying – the one thing that took Nixon down – no amount of bluster about “alternative facts” and “fake news” is going to get past his misleading attempts. That said, when Pence replaces Trump as President, USA will probably be “business as usual” albeit with a strongly evangelical Christian flavour. As for China’s supposed ascendancy – yeah, nah – not in this century – the US is about four generations ahead of China militarily especially in weapons technology and stealth capability. China won’t push the US into any type of confrontation – even with Trump at the helm – they’d get done like a dog’s breakfast in fairly short order. Economically, China is vulnerable as they are dependent on sales from a workforce that is one step above slave labour (real slave labour headed by PLA generals) and that workforce is increasingly dissatisfied to the point of unprecedented industrial action and shoddy workmanship. India is hamstrung by its caste system that denies full utilization of its potential workforce and so while making impressive strides, India will remain for the next century or until they modify their Hindu basis of society, a far distant competitor trying to play catch up. That leaves Russia, which is far too corrupt to compete with USA, EU and the West, and is also hamstrung with a weakened and outdated military, and under-performing industrial and commercial sectors. Sorry, but I’m afraid the “New World Order” of the 21st century will be the one we’re stuck with now, lead by the West with the EU as top economic performer, NAFTA as 2nd, Asia as 3rd and Oceania as 4th – militarily the USA is twice as strong as the next four combined – just think about that for a minute – twice as strong as the next four combined!! So don’t expect that to change in our lifetime; nor will the World Order.

  11. adam 11

    The 14th is a broke amendment, which I think is a good sound bite for beginning to understand what is wrong with the USA.

    Patton Oswalt In The Coup’s “The Magic Clap”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YpNidqsBhI

    The Coup are members of the ANTI- collective. http://www.anti.com/

    Well worth looking into artist there, very political many of them.

  12. rhinocrates 12

    Argh, technical problem. A long post got swallowed up somehow.

    Typical Thorndon Bubble nonsense. Shallow research by someone fascinated by shiny gadgets with no real knowledge of design and the philosophies behind design.

    Anyway, first NEVER assume that a rival has the same intentions or philosophy as oneself. Looking for an equivalent of the Boeing 787 airliner is simply silly and irrelevant.

    On military technology.

    The US is rapidly losing its edge in key technical areas. Just this week, Aviation week was reporting on the US lagging in the critical area of hypersonics:

    http://aviationweek.com/defense/classified-report-hypersonics-says-us-lacking-urgency

    http://aviationweek.com/defense/podcast-hypersonics-wake-call

    Now, Chinese (and Russian) design philosophy and strategy. To compare, say, the Chengdu J-20 and the Sukhoi T-50 to the F-2 is idiotic. The F-22 is a medium-range Cold War air superiority fighter, lacking many essential components of a modern multi-role and/or strike aircraft (IRST etc). The J-20 is a specialised long-range (ie., Pacific) high speed interceptor and strike aircraft optimised for first strike against ground and air targets such as AWACS aircraft, with a large fuel and weapons load. It does not have all-aspect stealth like the F-22, but stealth incurs many compromises on an aircraft and they have prioritised according to mission.

    Both China and Russia are working hard on counter-stealth capabilities, much of which is already available. This includes very long wave radar, networks and layered defence, which are easier to deploy over their large land areas than is the case with the US.

    The J-21 and T-50 are not intended as mirror images of the F-22 and all three probably make terrible coffee – but nobody considers them to be inferior espresso machines.

    The smaller J-31 is ironically based on information hacked from Lockheed Martin’s F-35, without that own aircraft’s very expensive and performance-sapping compromises (ie., a STOVL variant, single engine).

    As Andrei Tupelov once said the Clarence ‘Kelly’ Johnson (and if you have no idea who they are, there’s no hope for you), “You Americans make planes like fine ladies’ watches: drop watch, watch break. We make them like alarm clocks – you can knock them off the table but they’ll still wake them up.”

    The hypersonic strike tech mentioned above is where China and Russia lead in practical systems development. They have been using conventional existing rockets (alarm clocks, not Cartier watches) to boost prototypes up to cruise speed while the US has nothing and its development of less robust air-launched systems has been fitful, if not pitiful. Rumours of top-secret advanced, heavy systems dating back to the 80s have never amounted to anything.

    There is an H-X stealth bomber programme, likely similar to the USAF’s B-21 medium bomber, which is years away from even first flight (and one hopes Northrop Grumman’s cybersecurity is better than Lockheed Martin’s). Only 20 of the earlier B-2 were made and they are ageing.

    Meanwhile, advanced long-endurance drones (Soaring Dragon and Divine Eagle) equivalent of the Northrop Global Hawk are undergoing testing.

    Meanwhile, at sea, very large new classes of destroyer are being deployed (Type 52) and developed (Type 55) along with Type 81 amphibious assault vessels. Under the water, the Type 94 nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine is in service, although submariners consider it noisy and easy to track as a consequence.

    The biggie is China’s carrier ambitions. They have gained significant experience from the former Russian Varyag, now the Liaoning and are planning a full carrier fleet.

    Even Chinese Coast Guard cutters are as big as other navies’ frigates.

    All of this points to Pacific-wide power-projection, not regional defense.

    The Pentagon knows this and is writing its response into requirements for new weapons. The Navy wants a stealthy UAV tanker to extend the range of its F-35s and F-18s (the MQ-25), the Air Force wants a stealthy taker too (the KC-Z) to serve its penetrating stealth fighters and its next generation fighter, called Penetrating Counter-Air is to have long range, heavy weapons load, extensive electronic warfare suit and possibly lasers written into its requirements. It’s engines permitting for long-range high-speed cruise are already well under development.

    In the political-economic sphere, China is a master of ‘soft power.’ This is through economics, trade, treaties and civil engineering. Their influence spreads to Africa in the West, replacing in many cases the Soviet Union, and through the Pacific, selling products and investing in infrastructure in many nations such as Fiji. Philippines President Duterte’s recent tiff with Obama in which he favoured China is a prime consequence of this.

    In culture and education, China is rapidly growing influence. The numbers of Chinese taking degrees overseas and returning to China and the number of Chinese scholarly papers requiring translation or editing for publication in English (the international language of science and business still) are all on a sharp rise (I don’t do translations, but I’ve been in this business for nearly two decades now and I can attest to its growth). At a pop-cultural level, note how Hollywood is now trying to make its movies attractive to the Chinese market – sometimes in a consciously political way, such as casting Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange to play a character who was originally Tibetan.

    2050 then? It’s a good thing that I wasn’t drinking anything, because it would have ended up all over my keyboard and monitor. That report is hopelessly out of date. Whoever wrote that 2010-2016 defence review must have written it with a crayon.

    [lprent: Not sure why this is being auto-spammed. ]

  13. Sabine 13

    Smokes and mirrors, ladies and gentlemen. Smokes and mirrors.

    While everyone is talking russia, and is shitting themselves thinking about nuclear holocausts and such, the republican party is slowly but surely dismantling everything the US has going for itself. And that is frankly in my own opinion not much.

    But hey, lets gut the State Department and fill it with Trumpistas. Let’s run the Environmental Protection Agency by someone who is happy to dismantle it by the end or at least gut it to an extend that it won’t work anymore.

    Republicans are hellbent on dismantling hte ACA Law, while not awesome it is the tool for many to have some sort of health insurance for them or their children.

    Republicans are very happy, especially Ryan and Mcconnell to gut social security.

    Republicans are very happy to gut the equal pay provisions. Heck they even pen nice letters stating that if women were to earn the same they may ‘have’ to work instead of staying home having children and raising them….cause now i guess they either work or stay home with the children but they are not doing both at the same time.

    Republicans are very happy to eliminate any and all reproductive choices for women, in fact Texas has the highest maternal mortality rates, but its ok as that is a disease that only afflicts women and hey, one can upgrade to a newer model when the old one croaks.

    The US under the Repulicans is being dismantled. And everyone here is going on about Russia and China. Both countries don’t care much about the US, both are large enough and armed enough to finally do away with this planet and guess what the US can do the same.
    So far we had an understanding that mutual assured destruction was something that would not be beneficial for anyone, but hey, since Trump it is being openly discussed again. And he is gonna save us fucking all. Yeah, right Tui. this is the same guy who supposedly asked why he could not use the Nukes cause of course why not just glass a bit of the world if they are not submissive and obedient enough.

    So for what its worth i leave you with the word of one of his advisors, the guy called Stephen Miller.

    Quote” MILLER: George, the president’s comments on this are clear. The message we’re sending to the world right now is a message of strength and solidarity. We stand with Japan and we stand with our allies in the region to address the North Korean menace.

    And the important point is that we’re inheriting a situation around the world that is as challenging as any we have ever seen in our lives. The situation in North Korea. The situation in Syria. The situation in Yemen.

    These are complex and difficult challenges. And that’s why President Trump is displaying the strength of America to the whole world and it’s why we’re going to begin a process of rebuilding our depleted defense capabilities on a scale we have not seen in generations.” Quote end.

    So frankly i doubt that the dictator in the making will be anything else but a war monger that will use without a shred of a doubt the US Army to do what it always did, namely pound any country into dust and rubble if it is convenient and above all if they have stuff that they want.

    And i hope that all will see the strength of the US and that we will see the rebuilding of their depleted defenses and that we will roll over when the great Hunt for the last resources will start in earnest.

    As that is what it is , the Trump era is the start of the resource war.

    • rhinocrates 13.1

      Robert Reich on how the Republican Party thinks of Trump as a useful idiot while they gut social security:

      I spoke this morning with my friend, a former Republican member of Congress, who’s as worried as I am about Trump’s mental state and the growing possibility that he or people around him committed treason by collaborating with Russian operatives to throw the election.

      Me: Do other current and former Republican members of Congress feel like you do?

      He: Lots of them. They think Trump’s loony tunes, and he’s in Putin’s pocket.

      Me: Well why the hell don’t they say something? As long as this looks like a partisan brawl we’re never going to get anywhere.

      He: No one wants to be the first. They worry Trump will start tweeting on them, or his crazy‐ass supporters at home will go after them.

      Me: Then why not issue a joint statement? A bunch of Republicans could call for a Select Committee to look into all of this, a special prosecutor. There’s safety in numbers.

      He: A few of them are talking about it right now, but McConnell and Ryan don’t want to rock the boat. They want to focus on repealing Obamacare, getting a giant tax cut, wiping out environmental regulations, you know the drill.

      Me: But don’t they know the Trump issues are just going to get worse? Republicans need to get ahead of this or they’ll get bulldozed by it.

      He: McConnell and Ryan don’t see it that way. They figure Trump will continue his circus act, stirring up the press, driving everyone crazy. So they can quietly work with Pence and get their agenda through when no one is paying much attention.

      Me: You mean Trump is a decoy?

      He (chuckling): Yeah. At least for now.

      “At least for now.” In typical courtier fashion, they will swear their eternal and undivided loyalty right up until the moment they start taking every opportunity to remind us that they were always against him.

  14. Incognito 14

    With respect to mickysavage I struggle with this post and some of the comments; it all seems rather vague and so ‘common sense’.

    We often pride ourselves of being independent and progressive and not afraid to stand up against super-powers on the world-stage when certain actions are incongruent with our core values; we view ourselves as principled and so-called honesty-brokers.

    In this light, I don’t see why we have to look to any other country for ‘leadership’, e.g. in the context of climate change. New Zealand does not need to take its cues from anybody else; we’re a sovereign nation and we can think independently and we certainly don’t have to kow-tow to anybody.

    I also fail to understand why New Zealand should look to China for its future (@ 4.1) and for what exactly? Again, it lacks specifics and at first I was guessing the future of our economy as a trading minnow was the unspoken subject.

    However, later on it became clear that it was the “overall importance of the relationship” (@8.1).

    This got me thinking about the “relationship” between countries/nations: what does this actually mean? What does it mean when New Zealand has “a warm relationship” with another country?

    Usually, it is projected as a ‘good chemistry’ between the leaders. We hear about “pyjama diplomacy” or “kayak diplomacy” or rounds of golf, etc. You know, the warm fuzzy feelings you get (and are supposed to get!) when you read about our PM’s overseas visit to such & so.

    So, first and foremost, the relationship seems to be defined or at least symbolised or portrayed by the (public) show of ‘chemistry’ between the leaders, and next by a handful of politicians, the corps diplomatique, and possibly a select group of senior civil servants. The majority of the population does not have a real meaningful relationship with that other country. For example, I guesstimate that less than 0.1% of the Chinese living in the PRC have a reasonable and realistic view or knowledge of what New Zealand is like and what it is like to live here. And vice versa a large majority of Kiwis have no clue whatsoever about China and its populace.

    Not so fast! We do trade with China, don’t we? Indeed we do but again this is largely guided & regulated (controlled) through our respective governments and there are only few mutual visits taking place and only by a very few people.

    A similar argument can be used for the tourism stampede, which is apparently very good for our economy, but there is very little ‘immersion’ taking place.

    The other stampede is immigration – that hot potato. In the long run this will lead to real ‘immersion’ of some scale but I think it is by no means a given that this necessarily leads to a better ‘relationship’ between the nations of origin and destiny. Arguably it might even lead to a more strained relationship.

    It just strikes me that there seems to be a huge disconnect between the political realm and the general public when we talk, write, and think about these geo-political issues and events. We seem to accept the framing & narrative without question, without even blinking. This strikes me as odd (surreal) and because it leads to misconceptions and all sorts of biases & prejudices, for example, it is dangerous and unsustainable.

  15. Michael 15

    People protesting against the US and wanting it to “go home” may finally get what they wished for: it is unlikely that the US can sustain its massive military forces, including overseas bases, while systemically gutting its tax base and erecting trade barriers (to say nothing of that bullshit ‘wall” with Mexico). Sooner, rather than later, China is going to want to be repaid all the money it loaned the US so its consumers could buy bling from it and imagine they were rich. I think the US will downsize, swiftly, irrespective of Trump’s posturing (there is a real danger that world events could blow up, literally, in this face, but here’s hoping the adults in his entourage will stop that from happening). When the US does withdraw from the Pacific (or at least substantially reduce its presence), who really thinks China is going to stop at its “First Island Chain”, or even its Second? Do people know what the “Third Island Chain” comprises?

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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    4 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    4 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    5 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    5 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    Kāinga Ora’s “independent review” was carried out by the same National Party leader whose own administration’s inadequate housing build – and selling of state houses- had caused Kāinga Ora to embark on its crash building programme in the first place. To use a rugby analogy, this situation is exactly like ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
    Cartoonist credit: Christopher Slane ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
    As Werewolf predicted a week ago, it was premature to call Emmanuel Macron’s snap election call “a bitter failure” and “a humiliating defeat” purely on the basis of the first round results. In fact, it is the far-right that has suffered a crushing defeat. It has come in third in ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The UK needs proportional representation
    Like a lot of people, I spent Friday watching the UK election. There's the obvious joy at seeing the end of 14 years of Tory chaos, but at the same time the new government does not greatly enthuse me. In order to win over the establishment, Starmer has moved UK ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
    TL;DR: Thanks for the break, and now I’m back. These are the top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so:Chris Bishop’s pledge to ‘flood the market’ with land to build new houses both out and up remains dependent ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
    Usually I start with some lyrics from the song at the end of the newsletter, to set the mood. But today I’m going to begin with a bit of a plea. About six weeks ago I decided to make more of my writing public with the hope that people would ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
    ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
    This is republished from an earlier write upDavid Seymour is part of the ACT Party. He's backed by people like Alan Gibbs, and Koch money. He grew up as a right wing lobbyist - tick tick tick. All cool and fine - we know.What's also been clear is a fervent ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
    Hot take: it should be affordable to live in Auckland. You may not be surprised to learn I’m not the only one with this hot take. Indeed, the Minister of Housing recently took the notable step of saying house prices should come down, something common wisdom says should be a politically ...
    Greater AucklandBy Scott Caldwell
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    6 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    6 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Strangers and others
    For a moment yesterday I thought I might have been trailing my old friend Simon Wilson across the Danube, over cobbled stones, and into the old town square of Linz. Same comfortable riding style, same jacket, same full head of hair, but no, different friend of cycling.There is a kindred ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Killing the Golden Goose of New Zealand's economy
    IntroductionIn New Zealand, the National party generally retains a reputation of being pro-business and pro-economy.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.The underlying assumption is National are more competent economic managers, and by all accounts Luxon and his team have talked ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Newshub Signs Off
    Wait for the night, for the light at the end of an era'Cause it's love at the end of an eraThe last episode of Newshub, the final instalment of TV3 News, aired last night. Many of us who took the time to watch felt sad and nostalgic looking back over ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is getting on with the Government’s first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects expected to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years.   “Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
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