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The Wall Street Journal gets it

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, March 9th, 2009 - 55 comments
Categories: articles, john key, same old national - Tags:

Despite all the claims of “centrist” and “centre-right” none other than the the Wall Street Journal has pointed out that John Key’s government is very much a hard-right neo-liberal outfit:

Mr. Key is returning the country to a formula for prosperity that’s worked in the past. As in Britain, the U.S. and Australia in the 1980s, New Zealand’s government implemented a wide-ranging program of economic liberalization, including deep reductions in tariffs and subsidies, and privatization of state-run industries. The plan, nicknamed “Rogernomics” after then-Finance Minister (now Sir) Roger Douglas, was akin to Reaganomics, and the island nation grew smartly.

Of course the WSJ, being the free market cheerleader it is, totally approves of this approach (yes, despite the current economic situation and its causes- one can only imagine what it would take to shake such faith).

But this is the government that got voted in on the Labour-lite ticket, not the return to the neo-liberal project ticket. So how will the electorate feel once they find out? And how long until they and the media rumble what’s going on?

My bet is about two years. But I reckon National thinks it’s got longer as it really has stepped up its efforts to make hay while the polls shine.

Hat-tip: Gobsmacked

55 comments on “The Wall Street Journal gets it ”

  1. BLiP 1

    Again, refer to Nicky Hagar’s “The Hollow Men” for the template used to return New Zealand to the whims of the corporates. And, further, Brian Easton’s remarkable book “Commercialisation Of New Zealand’ which details exactly how New Zealand DID NOT benefit from the ravages of Rogernomics and the Neo-Liberal (read Neo-Con) agenda.

    The Wall Street Journal is no better than the New Zealand Fox-News Herald. Take at look at: http://mediamatters.org/ for a litany of its failures to get even basic facts right.

  2. TightyRighty 2

    Voted in on the Labour-lite ticket? no, voted in on the get rid of labour ticket. glad you included that last bit from the wall st journal too. “and the island nation grew smartly”, because it’s true. it worked then and it will work now.

    [lprent: corrected your spelling, and added another troll word to auto-moderation. Thank you.
    BTW: Most of the growth was after labour got back in and corrected the structural screwups of the neo-libs – like development of an underclass – so essential to the neolibs ego’s…]

    • TightyRighty 2.1

      change whatever words you like lynn. you can’t edit out the truth, that Roger Douglas’ policies set the stage for the biggest period of growth since post-WW2, and the labour government just rode the wave through a fortuitous change in power.

      [lprent: It is just irritating. It detracts from whatever point you’re trying to make because you’re using meaningless shorthand. When I spot attempts to over-use mispelling shorthand, I move the standard up. Learn to argue without the semantic props]

  3. sweetd 3

    Lots of other good quotes in there.

    “But while the U.S. and Australia broadly continued their economic liberalization programs under both right- and left-wing governments, New Zealand didn’t — until now. Over the past nine years, Helen Clark’s left-wing Labour government rode the global economic expansion and used the revenue surge to expand government welfare programs, renationalize industries, and embrace causes like global warming. As a result, the economy stagnated while Australia took off.”

    • Tane 3.1

      Yeah, I saw that. Unfortunately it’s not true. The NZ economy grew faster than Australia’s between 1999-2008.

      • Matthew Pilott 3.1.1

        And the wage gap opened up under Rogernimics – but that kinda stuff wouldn’t matter to WSJ would it?

      • Daveski 3.1.2

        Obviously, any statistic is subjective depending on what you measure.

        NZ had close to 0% GDP in 1998-1999 – I think due to the drought. Correct me if I’m wrong. That certainly enabled NZ to grow quicker in 00-01.

        While closely matched from 01-08, OZ outperformed NZ from late 05 which doesn’t help the argument that Labour was closing the gap. If anything, the gap between NZ and Oz was growing which is hidden by the stat you choose to use.

        • gingercrush 3.1.2.1

          1998-1999 is surely the Asian Crisis Daveski.

          • Daveski 3.1.2.1.1

            It sounds obvious but during this period, Aus and the US were still around 4-5% GDP. Either we were affected more than these economies or there was another factor.

            Whatever the case, the point is NZ’s GDP went from 4% in 1997 to around 0% in 98-99 while Aus slightly grew to above 5%.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        Should also point out that NZs economy is still much freer than either the US or Australia.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.2

      Sweeet, tell me, after Richardson left and we stopped with the reformin, was NZ more or less along the neoliberal track than Aussie? Because if you want to judge the effectiveness of the policies, that’s the important bit. Which country has been the most ‘liberalised’ for the longest? What have been the effects?

      Please discuss with reference to labour law, subsidies and tarriffs, welfare, privatisation (telstra?) and such as examples.

      The way I remember it, we were lauded as a nirvana by The Economist and neolibs around the world. Freed from the shackles of statism by Douglas/Richardson we would become the south pacific swiss, and should be seen as examples by the larger countries that we are now criticised for not following. This was not because we promissed more reform, but because of the policies we had already put in place. We didn’t roll back those reforms, we just stopped – still ‘ahead’ of where many countries have gotten to even now.

      Articles such as this one use the idea that it is reform itself that is decisive, as long as the country is reforming along the right lines then they should be growing faster than countries that aren’t reforming. That is what we get blamed for, that we stopped reforming, not that weren’t liberal enough. When you realise that, the point becomes a lot less convincing as a defence for the policies. It starts to look kind of dishonest actually. Like they are leaving things out, and moving goalposts.

      your mileage obviously varies.

  4. ghostwhowalks 4

    The economy stagnated while Australia took off !!

    Nothing like making it up when the reality doesnt fit the storyline.

    heres the employment data for those years of ‘stagnation’, 0.5 mill more people in jobs.

    http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/Fig9.html

    And as for Australia taking off.
    The data for real GDP doesnt match the false opinion either

    http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/Fig2b.html

  5. higherstandard 5

    It’s a pity they didn’t publish the data back to 1990 – which is there in excel – it’s fascinating to see the volatility in growth of NZ GDP over the entire period with some monumental peaks and troughs – I suspect it has more to do with the smallish and vulnerability of our economy in most cases than any great policy from either of the political parties, although Japan’s all over the place as well.

  6. ghostwhowalks 6

    For now, the prime minister is focusing on chipping away entrenched regulations that drive away foreign capital — but that not true either.

    Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd’s proposed acquisition of the business assets of New Zealand Steel Mining Ltd, a subsidiary of BlueScope Steel Ltd, has been declined, says Finance Minister Bill English.
    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/purchase+nz+steel+business+assets+declined

    But CKI was allowed under labour to buy the Wellington lines network( which was previously foreign owned) since there was no strategic land holdings involved.

    Funny how an interview with Key leads to a whole load of bullshit from the WSJ.

    Bet Rod Oram wouldnt get within 100m of Key without a flying tackle from his platoon of press secretaries

  7. randal 7

    I would not take every thing the wsj says as gospel
    the staff nearly broke the joint a few years back when they took their eyes off the ball and allowed bloomberg to steal a march and the money while they tried to line their own pockets with an entirely fictitous market in power and utilities
    think enron
    yep
    and the family had to sell it
    the WSJ that is
    anyway
    the only reason the nineties worked was not because of the ideology but because the introduction of computers allowed any little pissant with an mba and lotus notes to compute all the variables and decide which assets they could sell without doing irreparable damage to their company
    nothing has changed
    right wing ideology today has more to do with using proprietorship to exercise pyschological proclivities than innovation or entrepreneurship
    god I love hard work
    I can watch it for hours
    so dont be fooled by the verbiage

  8. Ianmac 8

    ghostwhowalks: thanks for the data. Must be annoying for those who repeat the line denigrating 1999-2008. Fancy the facts getting in the way!
    There is something in the psychology of group thinking. Once a group has a favourable opinion about a person or group, it is very hard for them to shift to an opposite view. Hence the Natact “cunning plan” to buy time with good news/keeping promises and then……..
    (By the way I e-mailed Rod Oram with ref to the WSJ and invited his comment on Standard.)

  9. jimbo 9

    Another round of comments where Labour supporters clap themselves on the back, sprout statistics supposedly proving that Cullen is the second coming of economic Christ, and imply (once again, *sigh*) that anyone who voted National did so because they are stupid, confused or simply “wanted a change” after years of successful Helen Clark leadership…

    So what do these stats show us? Under Labour we in fact WENT UP in relation to other OECD countries, did we…? My bad…

    When are you guys going to acknowledge that LABOUR DID SOME THINGS WRONG and the electorate turfed them out as a result?!

    It’s worse that the All Blacks’ excuses at the end of a World Cup.

    • Tane 9.1

      Jimbo, I think people are simply tired of the right-wing talking points used to give the impression that kickstarting the revolution is the solution to NZ lagging behind Australia.

      Why do you think National and its cronies feel the need to lie about the record of the last nine years?

  10. Snail 10

    Said the fellow in that wsj OPINION item:—

    Mr. Key argues. “A lot of [companies] won’t pay tax if they don’t make money,” he reasons. “So they might be slightly less focused on corporate tax in the immediate future. ..”

    Which at one and the same time relates two things to interests and parties.
    1. Relax, we’ll rig lower taxes for you later on, when you are back on your game..
    2. Don’t make out else we’ll have to tax you at today’s (present = 38 percent and/or post-April 09) rates..

    No.2 might suggest to some hey get to like the R-word for its tax-cutting potential. And don’t worry about the smaller r-word (employer responsibility) cos we’ve gotten that covered, too.

    Not so incredible, not when you take in the housing market profitmakers’ tone of the past weekend.. “coming back”… “rising”.. small prices falls.. and all.. Meaning under control (not market) and blah blah

  11. Santi 11

    Why do you think National and its cronies feel the need to lie about the record of the last nine years?

    They don’t need to lie. The facts are there for all to see: increased taxation, picking losers (more than winners), reckless use of public money, squandered opportunities, stagnated development, coming down on the OECD ratings, growing underclass, abetting criminals, etc, etc. The list is vast.

  12. Stephen Whittington 12

    “The NZ economy grew faster than Australia’s between 1999-2008.”

    Ever heard of a policy lag? The time you have given takes into account faster growth in the 2000 – 2005 era. We were slower in the latter period. Bad policy takes time to work through the system, in the same way that it takes time for good policy to create wealth.

    Michael Cullen took full responsibility for the integrity of the following statement in the December 2004 Economic and Fiscal Update:

    “New Zealand’s recent growth performance can be attributed to past structural reforms that began in the mid-1980s; which have resulted in a trend increase in New Zealand’s growth rate since the early 1990s, a more flexible economy better able to absorb adverse shocks and take advantage of favourable shocks, and sound macroeconomic policy settings. Between early 1993, at about the time when a structural change in New Zealand’s trend growth started, to now, growth averaged 3.7% per annum and per capita growth averaged 2.5% per annum. Per capita growth since the early 1990s has been sourced from both labour productivity growth and increases in labour utilisation.”

    • Ianmac 12.1

      I don’t get it!
      NZ failed to gain ground 1999-2008 because Labour failed.
      NZ did gain ground 1999-2000 but it was because of work done in the previous decade!

      • Daveski 12.1.1

        It’s quite simple really (as I’ve discovered over the last 10 days!)

        The Govt is only responsible for the macroeconomic framework.

        GDP is more a reflection of the performance of our companies, than our Governments and as noted above, the small size of our economy makes us vulnerable to our trading partners.

        The one-eyed critics of both sides overestimate the contribution the Government makes for political purposes, especially given the large amount of agreement on our macroeconomic fundamentals.

  13. Josh 13

    This is the secret agenda we were talking about before the election.

  14. George Darroch 14

    For now, the prime minister is focusing on chipping away entrenched regulations that drive away foreign capital

    Cause that’s going to improve the balance of payments deficit, right?

    Captcha: Douglas $7
    Sounds about right.

    • Daveski 14.1

      The fundamental issue I have discovered is that we don’t save enough hence investment capital must come from somewhere. On this I may end up agreeing with SP about some economic strategies.

  15. Ianmac 15

    And would someone explain what Captcha means on the end of some posts?

    [lprent: It stops spambots filling this site with exhortations to use your extra size (and drugged up) organ to fulfill grandmothers dreams, while reducing your credit card debt (to paraphase the last few captures in the spam engine). It also helps to digitize books – http://www.recaptcha.net.
    You don’t want to know what we see in the spam trap in the morning and those are just the few questionables. The really objectionable ones get killed without us having to read them.]

    • BLiP 15.1

      Captcha are the partly obscured words you type in to prove you’re not a bot – it is apparently automated but I suspect the blog team amuse themselves by filling up the data base with semi-relevant terms and, thus, some of us are led to believe its prescient.

      [lprent: Nope – it is an external database – see http://www.recapcha.net. You’re helping digitize books. The coincidences are just that – but often oddly apt]

      • Felix 15.1.1

        No, the words don’t reside in any database accessible by the authors of the blog. The spooky coincidences are just that.

        Click on the ? in the re-captcha box for a little more info on how it works.

      • BLiP 15.1.2

        I stand corrected. Thank you.

  16. Captcha= those words you have to copy in to verify that you’re a human and not a spam bot when you submit your comment.

    It sometimes comes up with scarily pertinent combinations.

    Capcha: 30 hulks. LOL

  17. ben 17

    I like this post. I think you’re correct to say National got voted in on a Labour-lite ticket. And that’s what National is doing. They’re still going to spend gobs of money on rail and health and education and the enormous Labour-made bureaucracy when it is least affordable.

    The rhetoric in the WSJ article here is quite inconsistent with that – and its what Key does that matters. As you note, right now he leading a party that is left leaning. And they’ll stay that way for as long as the focus groups say they should. Read: forever.

    Which means this country has a low chance of making ground on the rest of the OECD in income or health or education. Yay.

    Who cares whether the WSJ approves. Almost nobody in New Zealand subscribes and those few who do aren’t your swing voters.

  18. Quoth the Raven 18

    I think in light of this oft repeated discussion about Rogernomics/Ruthanasia we should return to I/S’s post which I linked to on another thread with the same argument. Some of the points from it:
    New Zealand’s gini coefficient (a common statistical measure of income inequality) rose significantly between 1986 and 1996, indicating greater inequality. This happened no matter how you slice it, whether you look at individuals or households, market, gross or disposable income.
    Over the same period, the percentage of total income going to the top three deciles of income earners rose while everybody else’s fell or stayed stagnant (Figs 2.15, 3.16, 3.17). The same results are mirrored in household data (Fig 4.9). This indicates that the fruits of growth were unequally shared, with most going to the already rich, and everyone else missing out.
    Between 1986 and 1996, average household incomes rose, while median household incomes fell (Fig 5.1). That means that the rich got richer (pushing the average up) while more people got poorer (pushing the median down). This is backed up by the distribution of household income relative to the median – the curve flattened, the middle was squeezed, and while some people got richer, the general effect was to drag the middle down.
    Poverty has increased – in 1986, only 16% of families fell below the 1996 lower quintile benchmark. In 1996, it’s by definition 20%.

    Once again I’ll repeat that increasing inequality and poverty is not only the outcome but the intention of these policies. This has nothing to do with the market or making the state smaller it is all to do with state-corporate plutocracy.

  19. Daveski 19

    QTR

    Not necessarily so.

    Your interpretation is not universally supported – it can equally be seen as a sign of economic growth (an obvious positive).

    • BLiP 19.1

      An deliberate increase in poverty is an “obvious positive” – are you fucking crazy?

      • Daveski 19.1.1

        The reference was clearly to the gini effect which measures income inequality.

        If everyone was in poverty, we’d have a “better” measure of the gini effect which shows how this statistic can easily be misused and misinterpreted.

        Quite sane, thanks for asking 🙂

  20. PK 20

    Some more analysis of the GDP stats

    If you take the GDP data back from 1990 using the link posted earlier, then normalise the NZ vs OZ growth i.e. assume they each have an economy of size 1 and then apply the GDP changes we see that in terms of relative growth (wish I knew how to post a graphic)

    OZ had better rate of growth 90-94
    NZ had better rate of growth 94-96
    OZ had SUBSTANTIALLY better rate of growth 96 to end 99
    NZ had a bit better growth 2000 to end 2005
    OZ had a bit better growth 2006 to Q3 2008

    NZ rate of growth was 6% more than OZ’s over 2000 to Q3 2008 – in economic terms very close as it’s a ratio of two figures that are themselves ratios over a reasonable period of time

    OZ’s grew from 10% more growth than NZ to 50% more growth than NZ between 96 and end 99 – that’s a big difference as OZ grew 35% more than NZ in a much shorter period of time

    The damage appeared to have been done when Winnie was treasurer 🙂

    though that’s a bit moot as it’s arguable when economic effects kick in 😉

  21. Stephen Whittington 21

    This is funny. Your system has “recognised” me as someone I’m not. But what the hell. That’s consistent with the nature of the post. The NZ economy DID stagnate in comparison with other economies while the Labour government focused on social reforms rather than growth. That was the point of the WSJ story. Why don’t you email Mary and get her take on your problems with her factuals? Then publish her response. I met her. She’s smart. You might not be prepared to deal with her at all.

    [lprent: Cookie at your side of the system retains the awareness of who you are. Could be an intermediate cache in a company. Could be someone else using that computer]

  22. jimbo 22

    So are we agreed then? We in fact moved UP in the OECD during Labour’s time in office…? Anyone?

    There was no “wolf in sheep’s clothing” for me when I voted. I am comfortable with what Key promised and what he has delivered so far.

    I mean seriously… is there ANYTHING that the last Labour govt did which … on a bad day, with a strong headwind, dodgy pitch, all stars aligned, thermostats low in Hell, pigs at cruising altitude and moon glowing blue, MIGHT, just “might” have contributed to an intelligent and fully-functioning voter deciding to bring in the other guys for a go…?

    Or are all of us who didn’t vote left just (a) demented right-wing ideologues with a yearning to bring our pollished hush puppies down across the workers’ throats (the unkind view); or (b) a little bit stupid and easily misled by some clever electioneering (the kind view).

    And again, is there ANYTHING Labour did that we should revisit, review, change or adapt now that we know how nasty the recession is starting to look, and that the long awaited move up OECD ranks has failed to materialize.

    • Quoth the Raven 22.1

      God you’re dull Jimbo. With a handle like jimbo you’d have to be though wouldn’t you. I think I’ll take it upon myself to reply to your tiresome comment. First, the OECD has many many rankings, we moved up some down others during Labour’s tenure. Please specify exactly which OECD ranking you mean, I suspect I know, but I just want to be an arse to a simpleton such as yourself. I do hope you’re aware that there are many different rankings. Secondly, our economy grew faster than many other western nations during labour’s tenure, poverty and unempolyment fell from where they were in the nineties. Thirdly, you do realise it’s not just our nation against a stagnant world – that we can move down the rankings without anything getting worse here. You know its relative to other nations. Heard of new europe and thought about what those nations may have achieved on the OECD rankings?

      Or are all of us who didn’t vote left just (a) demented right-wing ideologues with a yearning to bring our pollished hush puppies down across the workers’ throats (the unkind view); or (b) a little bit stupid and easily misled by some clever electioneering (the kind view).

      Of course you’re all not, but you at least are a little bit stupid. duh CAPSLOCK CAPSLOCK.

  23. Pascal's bookie 23

    Here’s a nice long read re the journalism/hedge fund/short-selling nexus : (snail, I think you’ll esp. find it fun)

    http://www.deepcapture.com/the-story-of-deep-capture-by-mark-mitchell/

    40,000 word stemwinder of an article by Mark Mitchell, a recent editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, who did his journo legwork at Time magazine ( Asia), The Wall Street Journal Europe, and The Far Eastern Economic Review.

    • Snail 23.1

      PB, ta muchly.. don’t know where or when I’ll find the personal time to assess 40K words or maybe find myself side-tracked down yet another hedgie fraudulence for the sake of it.. (names can be useful in the interconnected world of course) so I expect ‘lings to give it the going over.. later responding in kind.

      Meanwhile tit-for-tat so to say, howse it feel to be up in lights.. 🙂

  24. randal 24

    the thing that people need to GET is that the right wingers dont want money per se
    what they want is obedience
    pure and simple and marx needs a rocket up the b*m for missing this point when he read adam smith!

    • Daveski 24.1

      Total crap and you know it. Both extremes try to exert control. In fact, quite clearly the right’s biggest problem is the desire for individual freedom (with its excesses) over collective control.

      • Quoth the Raven 24.1.1

        Daveski – individualism is the realm of the left. There is no conflict between collectivism and individualism where collectivism is understood as not state-collectivisation. Look at some history you’ll find that individualist anarchists and the like put themsleves squarely on the left and you can’t get much more individualist than them. Individualism is not to be understood as egoism. If you’re talking egoism than you are talking the realm of the right – like Ayn Rand. What party of the “right” in New Zealand stands up for individual freedom. What was it some Act MP said recently “we’ve got too hung up on people’s rights”
        I would also recommend this article: http://wconger.blogspot.com/2005/08/karl-hess-left-right-spectrum.html

  25. jimbo 25

    Nice one QTR. You’ve perfectly proved the point, thanks.

    Everyone who doesn’t support labour is dull, confused or a rabid rightwinger. Anyone who consistently disagrees with you will eventually get abuse or sympathy.

    I mean seriously, champ, you read a couple of posts I’ve made on a website, you analyze my (admittedly boring) handle against your witty and amusing panty-dropper of a name, and suddenly you can write my academic transcript and opine on my personality? Tool.

    You STILL cannot bring yourself to concede that there are intelligent, rational people out there who disagree with you. I find that sort of blindspot simply astonishing.

    Most people who’ve followed NZ’s political landscape recently would know that the “OECD ranking” we’re talking about is per head GDP – i.e. the ranking Helen Clark decided early on to use as her yardstick. You’re either being obtuse or you’re a bit dim yourself…

    Finally QTR, remember your lecture to me about “not a stagnant world” next time you cr@p on about “equality” rather than growth as this nation’s primary objective.

  26. Quoth the Raven 26

    You STILL cannot bring yourself to concede that there are intelligent, rational people out there who disagree with you. I find that sort of blindspot simply astonishing.

    Can you read? I said Of course you’re all not, but you at least are a little bit stupid. You still cannot bring yourself to not use caps.

    Most people who’ve followed NZ’s political landscape recently would know that the “OECD ranking’ we’re talking about is per head GDP – i.e. the ranking Helen Clark decided early on to use as her yardstick. You’re either being obtuse or you’re a bit dim yourself

    Can you read? I said I suspect I know, but I just want to be an arse to a simpleton such as yourself. Please provide a quote from Helen Clark where she specifically mentions that single ranking as a yard stick. Just GDP not PPP not GNI?

    Finally QTR, remember your lecture to me about “not a stagnant world’ next time you cr@p on about “equality’ rather than growth as this nation’s primary objective.

    Can you read? Where have I said that equality should be a nation’s primary objective? I have said recently that most people became worse off under the neo-liberalism of Roger and Ruth and that some people made off like bandits. I think the level of inequality is a genreal condition of the state-corporate plutocratic system and has as little to do with the free market economics as Act and National have. Greater equality would be the result of a fairer freer system. Please explain what my not stagnant world comment has to do with ineqaulity in our nation.

    Dull conservatives do my head in.

  27. jimbo 27

    Ha ha ha! QTR – you are intentionally being funny now, aren’t you?!

    It’s playground stuff. Take a deep breath and try and debate the points. Try and rise above the 7-year old’s tactics of name calling and redefining the scope of the argument.

    1. Did NZ go up in the OECD rankings of GDP per head?

    2. Is there ANYTHING that Labour did that MIGHT have contributed to them losing power in 2008? Anything at all?

    3. Is there ANYTHING that Labour did which, knowing what we know now about the recession, might need to be revisited?

    If you’re determined to start a flame-war and want to keep calling me dull or dim, then that’s fine as well. Just don’t start bawling when it comes back and don’t forget that you were the one who chose to start it.

    • Quoth the Raven 27.1

      Nothing’s come back at me. You seem incapable of rising to the challenge. I’m not redfining the scope of the argument I just responded to your points. Are you fucking blind as well as stupid? All you’ve just done is reiterated yourself without responding to my criticisms and gone on to redefine the argument. So GNI and PPP not a very important?

      1. Did NZ go up in the OECD rankings of GDP per head?

      Have I argued this point? Anyway, I hear not. Have not looked myself though. I presume you’ve looked for yourself otherwise you wouldn’t be talking about it would you?. You can look for yourself at the OECD website. What I’ve said is that we can fall down such rankings without anything getting worse here and you haven’t argued that. We grew much faster when Labour was in power than in the nineties. Do you disagree? Not moving up the rankings does not mean our economy didn’t grow well.

      As to your other two points; now you’re changing the argument. When did we start discussing this? You do realise I’m an anarchist. Thought it was kind of obvious the way I go on about here.

  28. jimbo 28

    Go look up yourself the Labour goal (as stated by Cullen in one of the budget speeches) of returning NZ to the top half of the OECD table for per capita GDP. If, rather than responding to the essential point, you want to be a goober about what he meant when he said that, then by all means go ahead. You’re at 9.5/10 on the goober scale already but I’m sure you can go higher.

    You might claim to be an anarchist but, if true, that side of your character is totally swamped by the pomposity, misplaced intellectual arrogance (“I think I’ll take it upon myself to reply to your tiresome comment”) and refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing, failure or room for improvement in the past Labour government.

    You clearly have an inflated sense of self-worth so knock yourself out with the great insults. “Fvcking blind as well as stupid”, “can you read?”, “you’re dull”. They’re classics, mate. Well done.

    As far as I’m concerned you’re a bunch of (generally nonsensical) words on a screen, which in my head I read in a high-pitched, nasal, whiny little voice.

    • Quoth the Raven 28.1

      What can I say conservatives really annoy me.

      and refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing, failure or room for improvement in the past Labour government.

      When have I not acknowledged that? I do readily, as I’m sure even labour party members do. Although I will readily say, as I oft do, they are a damn site better than the bloody conservatives that are in power now. I hope you readily acknowledge the immense failings of National governments throughout our nation’s history. As to my arrogance putting words in someone’s mouth, as you have done here, is fucking arrogant. So look in the mirror.
      Goober? How old are you; vocabulary doesn’t extend to cunt or fuckwit?

      Go look up yourself the Labour goal (as stated by Cullen in one of the budget speeches) of returning NZ to the top half of the OECD table for per capita GDP.

      You’re the one making the positive assertion the onus is on you to find it and I thought it was Helen. This whole thing is about your inability to interpret data or even look at it yourself. You just repeat right wing memes. Find yourself a bit of selfworth.

      If you’re interested in anarchism have a read of Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience.
      I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”;(1) and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
      then he goes on to say
      I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.

      FYI I have a fairly deep hoarse sort of voice.
      Baby I’m an Anarchist.

  29. Jum 29

    All I want to know is how we can take up Don’s offer to adopt John Key to live in America? He was asking for John in the WSJ blog. That’s one export I’ll help pack.

  30. jimbo 30

    QTR – because you’re a total goober (the word was thoughtfully chosen to match the schoolyard level at which you operate), there’s little point in repeating here the Hansard reference that shows very clearly Cullen, in the 2001 Budget speech, setting the goal of moving NZ into the top half of OECD countries in terms of per capita GDP. The reason you remember it as Clark is because she subseqently “adopted” that goal in various places (no I don’t have references, no I can’t be bothered finding them for you).

    Ask your teacher to help you with Google and you’ll find it yourself fairly quickly. You might, however, be the only person in NZ interested in politics who doesn’t already know about it. It was a fairly public aspiration of the Labour govt that became something of an embarassment since they preferred to focus on an orgy of spending rather than productivity growth.

    The original article in this stream is (yet another) article about how the poor NZ electorate was somehow hoodwinked into voting National (i.e. Key can now take of his sheep’s clothing). I am saying that many people could be offended by that sort of line.

    I KNOW what I voted for and I am HAPPY with what’s being delivered so far. I am not going to pass judgment on this current government yet because no reasonable person would do so – it’s too early and the world is caught up in an unprecedented sh1tfight.

    Frankly, if the Left (or the anarchists **oooh er!***) of New Zealand want to keep insulting everyone else rather than analyse the reasons why Clark’s government was booted out, that’s fine by me. In fact, I wish intellectually challenged flamethrowing goobers like you were indicative of everyone on the Left since it would guarantee a long stint in opposition.

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