The wrong problem

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, September 21st, 2011 - 51 comments
Categories: capitalism, economy, jobs - Tags: , ,

Economist Paul Krugman argues that governments the world over need to wake up to the fact that they’ve been trying to solve the wrong problem:

A Constant Flow of Bad News for Europe and the US

In the United States, we have zero job growth, with unemployment still at nosebleed levels, according to a recent government report. Meanwhile, the interest rate on 10-year bonds is down to 2.04 percent, and it’s negative on inflation-protected securities. Aren’t you glad we pivoted from jobs to deficits a year and a half ago?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, “Is Austerity Killing Europe’s Recovery?” asks The Washington Post. Howard Schneider, a staff writer who covers international economics, wrote on Sept. 1: “After more than a year of aggressive budget cutting by European governments, an economic slowdown on the continent is confronting policymakers from Madrid to Frankfurt with an uncomfortable question: Have they been addressing the wrong problem?”

Yah think?  Too bad there weren’t any prominent economists warning that the obsession with short-term deficits was a terrible mistake; that austerity would undermine hopes of recovery. Oh, wait.

Cant blame Krugman for indulging in a bit of “I told you so”.

The awful thing is that those of us who warned about all this — based not on some unorthodox doctrine, but on basic textbook macroeconomics — weren’t so much argued down as just ignored. Somehow, those with actual power were convinced that fiscal austerity wasn’t just an option but the only option…

Iceland has been very much in the deadlines since 2008.  One of the first economies to fall over, the only country where the public successfully rebelled against foreign debt and chose a different path to recovery:

Iceland, the Exception

[In Iceland] the exchange rate has been stabilized, Iceland’s public finances have been put on a sustainable path, and significant progress has been made in rebuilding the financial sector. Policy implementation has been impressive, earning the authorities significant credibility. …

Iceland still has high unemployment and is a long way from a full recovery, but it’s no longer in crisis. It has regained access to international capital markets, and it has done all that with its society intact. And it has done all that with very heterodox policies — debt repudiation, capital controls and currency depreciation. It was as close as you can get to the polar opposite of the gold standard.  And it has worked.

Too bad there weren’t any warnings warnings warnings warnings warnings warnings warnings warnings warnings warnings warnings here in NZ that the obsession with short-term deficits was a terrible mistake; that austerity would undermine hopes of recovery. Oh, wait.

51 comments on “The wrong problem”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Many of these international governments spend more time talking to and working for their banksters now, then to their citizens. And it has become a merry go-round as exemplified by the US and Europe: senior banksters end up in senior government positions and vice versa. Geithner, Paulson, Summers, Legarde as just a few examples.

    In some instances there does not look like there are any real walls between the corporations, the banks and the government any more – they are just different parts of the same sprawling bank-focussed entity.

    Every time you hear about a “bail out package” for Greece etc just remember that it is really nothing more than more debt. Extra debt leant by other tax payers to allow Greece to meet its existing loan repayments to the international private banksters.

    None of that”bail out” money goes anywhere near the Greek citizen, it just buries their country further into debt, and makes their negotiating position even worse when it comes time for the bankster initiated firesale of strategic greek assets.

  2. The only way is to abolish the reserve bank system which is a privately owned for profit system and the right of :we the people” to print our own currency again.
    But with Bill English visiting the WTO, IMF and babyface “helicopter” Ben Bernanke that is not going to happen any time soon.
    The next phase of global financial collapse is the fact that the US Federal Reserve has now announced that the European banks can borrow unlimited amounts of fiat currency which isn’t worth the paper it isn’t printed on provided they insure it with real assets . That is what people like you and me have to earn with hard slog.

    My guess is that Bill English (and not John Key who wants to keep his fingers clean even though he spoke with Bernanke last month) is going to bring the bad news home.
    Here is what Max Keiser and Bill Still the Director of the Money masters have to say about it

    • vto 2.1

      travellerev, how does the NZ Reserve bank system work? Surely not like the Fed in the US? Like, is it privately owned? Is it a fractional reserve system? anything else? Because I agree the international money system is like a runaway train and the engine drivers are racing to pile out before she plunges into the abyss … but what about our system and how it integrates with the international system?

        • vto 2.1.1.1

          duh, so easy I coulda done it myself..

          so how are we protected from international turmoil if we are so apparently independent? I guess through borrowing in various forms both publicly and privately. And perhaps also through wholesale international runs on banks which could spread like a contagion to our banks here, especially the aussie-owned ones. In which case – are the taxpayers going to have to bail the depositors out again? I bloody hope not.

          And pile all of this on top of the recent middle east revolutions, Greek upheaval, English riots, and even the current Wall Street protestors who have called upon the middle east uprising issues in support no less. It’s like a whole bunch of semi-independent fires are about to conjoin to form the worlds largest ever financial and hence political firestorm….

          i’m running for the hills…

          • aerobubble 2.1.1.1.1

            Your car is crashed, you forgot why you crashed it,
            now in your need to get back on the road you get in your car and can’t
            fathom why the car won’t start as it always has.
            The same myopia that descended on the fiscal elites during the
            Great depression has returned to disease the fiscal elites again.

            Even if we get some new energy sources, methane hydrate, solar, etc,
            they will all cost more to extract – and then re bury the carbon afterwards.
            So we know that means the general blob on the street will less
            active in running around buying stuff that breaks a year and a day
            after they brought it, even the private petrol engine car is a dodo.
            And so all the wealth ascribed to keeping large western populations
            sedated by consumerism is going to come to a grinding halt, even
            with the drip of new alternative fuel sources (that cannot possible
            take the place of petroleum, or keep up the ‘growth’ trends that
            produced decade on decade cheap high density liquid gold).

            So the whole ideology of free markets, look no hands economists,
            and take no prisoners big media, is not only boring, its positively
            destructive.

            Our future in their cold hearted dead headed hands. Truly a
            perfect storm.

      • Afewknowthetruth 2.1.2

        The Rothchild financial empire took control of a large sector of the NZ economy in 1875 and commenced the wealth extraction process [via interest on loans] the Rothchilds are noted for.

        • Rich 2.1.2.1

          Um, is out and out nazism allowed here?

          • McFlock 2.1.2.1.1

            What the Rothschilds aren’t major bankers?
              
            If AFKTT had gone on and on about their religion, as nazis are wont to do, then I’d agree. It’s a thorny one, I grant you – for instance there’s a bigass issue of criticism of Israeli govt actions veiling antisemitism, but at the same time that doesn’t mean that all criticism of Israeli actions is antisemitic (by any means – the use of wp artillery shells in urban residential areas, sabra&chatila, and so on). 
             
            Think you might be activating the nazi klaxon a bit early, there.

      • travellerev 2.1.3

        The NZ Reserve act effectively separated the elected NZ government from the right to print our own money. The Reserve bank run by unelected individuals has responsibility to the crown which most people interpret  to be the NZ government but which is also the nickname of the finance capital in London run by the Rothschild’s cartel who are also the Queens bankers by the way.

        Here is a list of banks owned by this cartel. It also names the NZ central bank I.E the Reserve bank.
        In 2008 the Reserve bank without ever announcing this to the NZ public was lend 9 billion dollars by the New York reserve bank. Why? If we are independent form the International system why was this done under secrecy?

        HS gives you the official link the NZ reserve bank but here is the mandate of the NY fed and I hope that you will agree with me that they are eerily the same.

        What is interesting is that the NZ reserve bank states that:

        New Zealand’s monetary policy framework is conventional by current international standards, designed around an overall goal of price stability.

        The international financial system is a debt based fractional banksing system. In other words the Reserve bank system allows unelected officials to lend fiat money out of thin air against bonds from the government which are basically IOU’s the population has to pay back with their hard slog. Our reserve bank is no different. It is like every where else a fractional banking system.

        What is interesting is that the story of the 2007-8 collapse was that they solved it by lending 700 billion dollars to banks 500 billion dollars to European banks but the first audit of the Federal reserve revealed the had lend more like 16.1 TRILLION dollars worldwide without any transparency whatsoever.

        Here is where it gets really interesting:

        John Key was an upon appointment only member of a small committee which “advises” the Federal Reserve. The period before John Key became a member his boss shared a place on that same committee with Robert Rubin. Also on that list is Larry Summers. Both Robert Rubin and Larry Summers are acknowledged as the masters of their protege Timothy Geitner who was once the director of the Federal reserve of New York and who is now the Secretary of Treasury under Obama. John Key met with both Geitner and Bernanke when he recently visited the States.

        Another interesting fact is that Don Brash, who is close friends with several of the members of the group for a new American century was the Reserve bank governor at the time of the Reserve act signing.
        Let’s put it this way: To have a PM who meets more then any other PM before him with people who are either the chairman of the Federal Reserve of New York or have been high officials in the Federal Reserve, the NZ Reserve bank receiving 9 billions of dollars outside of normal transactions when the financial system is almost collapsing and to have Mike Moore who is a Bilderberger and an ex- high official in the WTO as well as a member in the trilateral commission and a fervent Globalist judging by the book title “Saving globalism” as the NZ Ambassador and no doubt at hand when Bill “double Dipton” English the peasant from NZ meets with Ben “Helicopter” Bernanke and officials from the WTO does not bode well for the long term independence of New Zealand.

        Also when Bill English states that New Zealand has to grow through saving and local growth he shows he has no concept of the financial global realities because in a debt based system Money gets destroyed when people pay of their debts.

        My guess is that he is going to get some much needed education such as: If you don’t borrow your population into centuries of debt we go bankrupt and we don’t like that and here is what we’ll do to your country if you don’t (Video’s of murder and mayhem and financial ruin).

        Added to that it pays to remember that John Key has large amounts of shares and long term investments in the Bank of America which is currently collapsing into the abyss making his Prime ministerial position one of a huge conflict of interest!

        Hope this helps!

        • Muzza 2.1.3.1

          Finance Minister Muldoon changes law to allow Mafia-controlled banks to begin operations in New Zealand. Links also made by N.Z.I. in preparation for:

          *

          Paxus control with Hong Kong and Shanghai
          *

          Wells Fargo with Broadbank
          *

          Chase Manhattan with General Finance
          *

          Bank of America and Barclays with Fletchers and Renouf in New Zealand United Corp

          All members of the Business Round Table Organization.

        • dave brown 2.1.3.2

          All these ‘warnings’ are beside the point. No section of the ruling class could learn anything from them because the crisis is not manageable. There is no conspiracy of a bunch of rogues responsible for this crisis. No trilateralist, globalist, multi-lateralist, Rothchildish plotters lurking in the Bretton Woods.

          The system is in a crisis that goes back to its inability to exploit workers enough to maintain its profits and basic condition that has plagued capitalism since the end of the post-war boom. This is a necessary consequence of the laws of capitalist development. If you can’t screw the workers labour power enough to make a profit you have to look for new ways of ripping off workers. The big monopolies tried to boost their falling profits by going on a global grab of cheap labour and assets in the 80s and 90s – so-called neo-liberal globalisation – but this did not stop the rot.

          The result was that bosses stopped investing in production where it was not profitable and trillions of their capital accumulated in the international banks was speculated in bidding up the prices of already produced assets like working class housing and boosting credit driven demand.

          When the decline in productive investment workers were sacked or their falling wages could not keep up with inflated mortgage repayments the credit and housing bubbles burst and the biggest banks faced bankruptcy.

          As the ruling class does in times of crisis its uses its executive state institutions including the central banks to shift the burden of the crisis on to weaker states and ultimately onto the backs of workers. Hence bank debt became taken over as sovereign debt for which, we the people, have to pay either in by savage austerity measures imposing new taxes of wages or cuts to the social wage.

          Thus the crisis is transferred from the bosses to society in general and that is why the only way to avoid the barbarism of wars, depressions and global poverty and misery, is socialism. We can see the way out today in Greece where the workers do have an option which is default on the debt, nationalise private assets and plan a socialist economy.

          Michael Roberts blog has a running commentary on all these questions.
          Start here and work back http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/default-is-in-the-air/

          • Muzza 2.1.3.2.1

            Don’t really know much about history do you bro.
            Try Tarpley.net you might learn something.

        • kenny 2.1.3.3

          Money does not get ‘destroyed’ when a debt is repaid; the money is counted as new money and goes back into the system for further lending.

  3. randal 3

    Why Iceland has a finacial sector is a mystery to most people.

  4. Hilary 4

    vto – I hear the Wall Street protests have spread to Spain and France. They are still occupying Wall street after several days, even though the big media have banned coverage, and twitter and yahoo trying to block. Can follow through the twitter link #occupywallst

  5. queenstfarmer 5

    Krugman’s just angry because his economic theories have failed. The biggest stimulus in history has abjectly failed. And yet he wants to double-down.

    • millsy 5.1

      So what would you do? Slash and burn? They are closing LIBRARIES, farmer. LIBRARIES.

      Give me one reason why ordinary people should have to shoulder the burden for this downturn in terms of reduced services and worse living standards than the previous generation.

      • queenstfarmer 5.1.1

        Countries need to live within their means. Pretty simple really. If the populace supports higher taxes, then the Govt will have more money at their disposal (even if an ever increasing amount is wasted).

        It’s hardly surprising some libraries are closing – thanks to the internet & computers, I rarely need to venture into a library anymore.

        Ordinary people always shoulder the burden. The bottom ~50% in this country pay no net taxes. The guys at the very top pay by far the most, as they should (disgraceful tax avoidance & loopholes excepted). The middle class always shoulders the burden.

        • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1.1

          Countries need to live within their means … and we do. We have one of the smallest public services of any developed country and one of the smallest Government debt ratios in the world. Though, admittedly, the latter is growing as a result of the need to borrow millions every weekto fund the tax cuts for the wealthy. I think the problem actually is that rich refuse to live within this country’s means and the rest of us are required to pay to keep them in the lifestyle they have become accustomed to.

          • TightyRighty 5.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I see the rich on benefits to pay for sky tv satellite dishes and never ending fast food when i drive through wealthier areas. I’m always aghast at the way rich people line up at instance finance in remuera for loans to see them through to pay day to cover the poor spending choices they have made. Even though the poor pay no tax and receive benefits, somehow it’s escaped you that it’s not the rich who live beyond their means. On a macro scale, the poor are the problem, but according to you, it’s not their fault right? so you say the rich must pay until everyone is equally poor. The slow durrr of stupidity really is a better moniker for you.

            • AAMC 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Your Religion is failing you Tighty, I see you still have the Faith, but look around you, it’s coming undone, the Greed of the Rich is undoing them, they should have had the sense to throw a few crumbs…

            • mik e 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Sticking to your chicago BS Tighty Almighty.They are taking their lead from the National party $76 billion debt we should deal to them as well aye tighty.These companies which lend at last resort are Run by very wealthy people. Who are just like the banks that are lending to the European piigs.Irresponsible lenders the govt ie tax payer picks up the bill[ponzi blackmail scheme].Balance of payment in NZ hits the skids again overseas owned companies [major bank huge profits heading offshore] profits increase ,The poor still pay tax more that capital gaingters GST Dummy plus the companies where they spend all their money pay tax as well dummyNZ back on spending spree nothing learned.The Remuera set more than likely pay less tax than the poor they can afford overseas holidays gst free investments tax free investments set up companies right vehicles holidays food trusts.Your answer would be eugenics no doubt.

            • mik e 5.1.1.1.1.3

              Thats so they can watch fox spews.The people in Remuera are happy that these people aren’t getting ahead because it keeps the big four banks rich with the profits from rental mortgages the landlords rich through tax free capital gains.And the take ways businesses employ people pay Exorbitant rent to property investors who don’t pay much tax the banks get another slice . wow Tighty I though you were doing a degree in economics or have you just been reading Act and Chicago school comics again.The no research based propaganda school of exploitative imperialistic brain washing.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2

          Countries need to live within their means. Pretty simple really. If the populace supports higher taxes, then the Govt will have more money at their disposal (even if an ever increasing amount is wasted).

          How can the money be “wasted”?

          It enters circulation again and is placed back in the general community.

          Instead of sitting piled up stagnating uselessly in some rich guys property or stacked high bank account.

      • aerobubble 5.1.2

        They won’t, thats why Key and his ilk are so desperate to cling on to any
        economic reality that continues the old order, they are betting the free
        market (that the rancid right have so distorted with propaganda newsspeak)
        will now suddenly advance some new energy source. They don’t seem
        to understand that a free society underpinned not undermineds a free
        market. Murdoch, Fox, and the whole army of dittoheaded newsmedia
        are the bottleneck strangling the free market.

    • KJT 5.2

      Free money for banks to continue gambling with. A stimulus??

      A Keynesian stimulus is when you prime the part of the economy that does real things.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        Yeah, queenstfarmer is being disingenuous when he says that printing money for the banksters is going to be good for the economy.

        Who it was good for was Wall St and the big banks.

        Main St and blue collar workers just keep getting ground into the dust, seeing their property and pension values fall and fall.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    Being an economist, Paul Krugman is also focused on the wrong problem (predicament), and anything he says on the matter of global economics will be largely irrelevant.

    The root cause of the current downward spiral (from which there is NO ESCAPE via orthodox economics) is energy depletion and resources depletion. The peak in global per capita energy was around 1979, and we are now into net total energy decline, peak oil having occured over 2005-2006 and most of the readily accessible high quality coal having been burned decades ago.

    As long as economists and governments remain locked into the fantasy world in which EROEI is of no significance everything will get rapidly worse. Since the bulk of economists and politicians are scientifically illiterate (especially when it comes to energy) there is no hope for anyone caught up in maintream culture.

    The collapse I and others have repeatedly warned about over the last ten years has now arrived.

    http://msn.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10753248&ref=rss

    Of course the ‘clowns’ at the IMF refuse to talk about any of the fundamentals that make the global system possible, and keep pretending that by forecasting growth they can somehow miraculously make it happen.

    It’s all in the book I am ‘not allowed’ to mention.

    .

  7. Zaphod Beeblebrox 7

    So the IMF does not like Greece not paying off its debts back quickly enough! What does it propose? More spending cuts. Result- more unemployment and economic stagnation and higher government deficits.

    Then its lends more money which increases the repayments meaning there is even less opportunity to get paid back.

    You’d think these muppets at the IMF would have learnt from Agentina in 2001. There Kirschner refused to pay back the debt- increased spending and ran the economy at 6% GDP (which it has been since). The IMF squealed and complained then backed down. It was a problem of their own making.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    Without an energy supply nothing happens.

    With an increasing energy supply more can happen.

    With a decreasing energy supply less must happen.

    It really could not be simpler.

    The belief that economies run on money or credt is a very common delusion. Modern economies run on oil.

    M King Hubbert wasn’t far out in the predictions he made in the early 1970s for the world economy of the early 21st century. Decline and fall.

  9. vto 9

    Clearly, interest should be banned.

    What would happen? I guess it would force “capital” to find other uses to be put to, which would certainly boost productivity for a start. If it was not possible to get interest on your money then where would people put it?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Interest should be banned, and governments should issue and control the quantity of debt-free interest-free money in an economy.

      • mik e 9.1.1

        CV in certain areas of the economy like housing and job creative industries .Inflation is the biggest problem increasing savings instead of interest rates would solve this problem the major banks wouldn’t haver a bar of it thats why you find so many Nact party politicians in their corporate box’s.CHCH would be the best place to start print enough money to fix CHCH but the Govt would have to control purchases of materials and organize the rebuild so inflation doesn’t damage the economy.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          Pouring a billion printed dollars in to fix Christchurch would not be any more inflationary than pouring in a billion dollars of insurance money to fix Christchurch.

          • mik e 9.1.1.1.1

            CV that is correct there is going to be increased inflation because of that, building materials and real estate is already going up thats why govt needs to step in bulk buy materials at the cheapest prices and bare land.The rebuild needs to be more carefully managed.Transportable houses that can be moved quickly, that wouldn’t be damaged ie made of wood.On top of the insurance payout there needs to be several billion more invested to make up the short fall as well as having a line to print in case of no re insurance.

    • millsy 9.2

      I wouldn’t go as far as banning interest, but it is crystal clear that the finance sector needs to be razed and rebuilt.

  10. Galeandra 10

    Queenstreet farmer knows lots as usual-‘Krugman’s just angry because his economic theories have failed. The biggest stimulus in history has abjectly failed. And yet he wants to double-down.’ so he repeats misinformation from Koch-Fox’nall as ‘fact’ or supportable analysis and slags off Krugman as if he’s a petulent child. Did he read Krugman’s innumerable columns during and after Lehmans etc and Democrats’ bailout of the banks— where he argued endlessly it was never enough money to do the job; and the underweight funding was hoarded by banks (or used for bonuses) even though community liquidity was at vanishing point, anyway.
    The ‘ biggest stimulus in history’ it was not. Do some reading; he gives a good link on that very issue in today’s column, if you can be bothered.

    Oh, but wait, you can’t…..’ I rarely need to venture into a library anymore.’ Brother, it sure as hell shows. Better vote National, too much to think about otherwise.
    And when unemployment goes on rising , and violence burgary and general crime rise with it, along with ill health and all the other indicators of distress, stick your chest out. The 1930’s replay has already kicked off, and you’re one of the little turkeys who helped bring it about.

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    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    4 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    4 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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