Useless on unemployment

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, November 6th, 2015 - 73 comments
Categories: class war, economy, employment, jobs, Steven Joyce - Tags: , , ,

National’s economic “geniuses” are hard at work again:

Government talks up NZ economy amid warning of 7pc unemployment

Hard at work spinning that is, since they can’t seem to do anything.

Unemployment could be heading back up to 7 per cent, with new figures showing a contraction in the labour market.

Figures from Statistics New Zealand on Wednesday showed that unemployment rose to an 18-month high of 6.0 per cent in the September quarter.

While the increase was expected, there was an alarming drop in the number of New Zealanders employed, down 11,000 during the quarter.

Economists had expected the economy to create 10,000 jobs over the three months, but instead the number employed dropped first the first time in three years.

In related news, Unemployment ‘likely’ to rise further. Brighter Future! Cusp of Something Special!

Thank goodness Steven Joyce is here to sort it all out:

No job? Move to the regions, urges govt

Unemployed people are being urged to look to the regions for work by the government, after the unemployment rate broke the 6 percent mark yesterday.

Steven Joyce … said that in some regions such as Otago and Northland, there were shortages of people applying for jobs, and unemployed people should consider moving if they could.

Quite apart from the fact that uprooting a family and moving is a huge undertaking, quite apart from the fact that the unemployed / poor are exactly the people who don’t have the resources to do so, this is still a useless suggestion.

In the South Island unemployment rose by 1% to 4.4%. Northland has the highest rate of unemployment of any region at 8.2 per cent. Given the huge and punitive pressure of the “Jobseeker” requirements, the claim that there are “shortages of people applying for jobs” can only be nonsense (or apply only to highly specific skilled cases). What’s the point in moving to the regions where unemployment is still high? Why isn’t the government doing anything to successfully stimulate the economy, and / or create jobs?

The icing on this Cake of Fail:

MBIE staff strike over work conditions

More than 1000 government workers have gone on strike for two hours to protest about work conditions at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Even if you get a job it will probably be a crap job. Staff are striking over pay and conditions. At the Ministry of – Employment. Brilliant.

73 comments on “Useless on unemployment ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Education being dumbed down – a generation of kids short-changed. Unemployment increasing (the Tories are nothing if not consistently crap) – a generation of adults short-changed.

    Wage stagnation, environmental degradation – New Zealand being short-changed.

    Look on the bright side: they’re definitely incompetent enough to throw the country into recession again so this might reduce our carbon footprint.

  2. Sabine 2

    well considering that we are going into summer there might be some jobs available in regions that live of tourism. But these jobs are neither well paid, nor are they fulltime / long term employment. And no one is moving across country for a three month stint at a cafe in Queenstown or Whakatane to serve latte to sun seekers.

    Business, not something that National is good at.

    • savenz 2.1

      A friend of mine tried to get a job fruit picking . Firstly practically all the jobs were taken by Fijian Indians on some sort of dodgy immigration scam/government visa and then they were told that because they were woman it was ‘not safe’ for them to work there and there was very little and highly expensive accommodation so they had to camp.

      Then after earning a pittance, camping and it not working out, they could not get back on the unemployment benefit because they had ‘left their job’ and wasted all their savings buying a tent and transport getting down there to work there so without family support would have been homeless.

      • Sabine 2.1.1

        yep. anytime one takes a seasonal job with ‘accomodation’ its the same thing, loose your job for what ever reason and boom, homeless. And often without benefits even if the contract is worked out as not enough hours worked or sum such thing.

        when i was younger i worked the winter and summer seasons in the south of France, but I was paid the full minimum wage and as a waitress got generous tips often to the full amount of my wage. Accom was dodgy most of the times, but it was better then homeless. But here in NZ? No tips, crap wage and abusive bosses….never would I even consider working in the Summer/Winter/Fruit Tourism sector.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        That sounds about right. National doesn’t acknowledge the huge risk that workers take in getting a job in the first place and then makes it so that if you do take that risk and it doesn’t work out WINZ will make it even worse.

        And, yeah, definitely need to kill work visas.

  3. Lucy 3

    Wasn’t there legislation not long ago that cut your benefit if you moved to the regions? Every job I have ever gone for from 1998 on has had a minimum of 30 people applying. That has been both skilled in IT and unskilled earlier on. In fact the unskilled jobs always have many people applying. If you look on seek there is always plenty of jobs but most of these are the same job with multiple agencies listing it. The jobs in farming are all going to non NZers who lie to get into NZ and are rewarded by being allowed another stint here. The reason why NZers aren’t going for these jobs is they are badly paid and the work hours are really bad!

  4. The Fairy Godmother 4

    We need something really revolutionary. One of the latest articles in films for action website suggested that 21 hours should be the new norm rather than 40. Benefits for society community and the environment.

  5. infused 5

    dat unemployment. 5.9 to 6. World is coming to an end, god damm.

    • weka 5.1

      nah, CC is the world coming to an end. Increasing unemployment just destroys individuals’ and families’ lives.

  6. weka 6

    Joyce: “unfortunately I can’t shift people, forcefully, from region to region” (at around 10 mins in).

    He should probably hand that over the Minister for Social Development, they don’t seem to have a problem with forcing people to do things.

    • Sabine 6.1

      they did last year, anyone remember if peeps move to ChCh for work they get a relocation bonus…:) how did that work out?
      OR also if peeps insist in staying in the depressed regions like Northland they get their benefits cut.
      Cause clearly it does not matter if one looses their family support, their social network, no they can just move the fuck somewhere and if it does not work out, than oh well have you quit that job? did you work enough hours? nope, than yer shit out of luck.

      In saying that, when i was transient, i was living out of a back pack and would move every few month. It was a lifestyle that suited my younger self. But I can understand anyone who would not like to leave whanau, friends and networks behind, just to go to the other end of the country to get a job of sorts for min. wage. They could not even afford to travel home for holidays. But maybe thats the point, break down the social networks and fabric of society and create a nation of transients that have no ties nor relations.

      • weka 6.1.1

        WINZ have always had a work relocation grant. That’s not forcing people to move.

        “OR also if peeps insist in staying in the depressed regions like Northland they get their benefits cut.”

        Are you saying that that already happens?

        • Bill

          In the early 1990s I was unemployed and wanted to move to the west coast. I was told by WINZ I could not claim any benefit if I did that. (Making myself less available for work) That policy may have been challenged in the courts – I don’t know.

          • weka

            Yeah, that’s a different thing again. WINZ have these designated areas where you’re not allowed to get the dole if you move there. They’re areas considered to have a zero unemployment rate ie there are always jobs. Golden Bay was another one. I don’t know how many of those are still in existence, it would be interesting to know.

            edit, I’m not sure how that was applied to people already living there, although it wouldn’t surprise me if that was applied unevenly depending on the office/WINZ person.

        • sabine

          it was mentioned last year by dear Wannabe Leader Paula Bennett. I understood the relocation ‘benefit’ to CHCH as a take it or loose your benefit scenario. Heard a few unhappy stories about people that took it and got stuck when it did not work out, considering aswell that $ 3000 that was the amount mentioned would not have even covered the move to CHCH and a month of rent.

  7. savenz 7

    Posted about this book yesterday but I think it is a stand out to understand the implications of the last 20 years of neoliberalism and why the missing million did not vote in last election.

    “Ruth, Roger and Me.” iBooks.
    Rhode Scholar, Andrew Dean.

    It is sad that after getting his degree the author (and he is now a Rhode Scholar) was valued at $20 p/h working at the university. Before he started this was dropped to $18 an hour, no benefits and he had to keep reapplying for his contract.

    And we are all told how people will financially benefit from their degrees. If you look at artists and writers, producers and idea makers, and the industries that profit from them, often the creators are not recognised through their lives at all. The free market does not work for them. It is people that are the go betweens or greedy that seem to profit the most.

    Monetarists then are buying up their works and copywrite and profiting from it after their death (or even while they are alive). Lose lose for some.

    All lengthened by TPP type agreements.

    This is how we treat our best and brightest – if we could harness our smart ideas people or even listen to them in the mainstream, rather than marginalising them, then we could solve a lot of the worlds problems.

  8. Bill 8

    I honestly think it’s time to stop bemoaning unemployment and encourage it. What we should be focusing on is the material and psychological well-being of those unemployed – and become unemployed asap. Why?

    The only way to come close to achieving climate targets is via de-growth or a recession or however you want to term it, and that’s going to involve mass unemployment. But the last time a country reduced CO2 in anything even approaching the currently required levels of reduction was in the 90s when the USSR collapsed. Now that didn’t exactly work out well for huge numbers of people, right?

    But we need to “do a USSR” (actually more than that). Time to dedicate ourselves to achieving the cuts without the widespread suffering. And whether we like or not, we have to face up to the reality that full or even widespread employment flies in the face of that necessity.

    • Nic the NZer 8.1

      This view is plainly crazy. As you say there is a tremendous amount of work needed to restructure the economy onto sustainable fuels and technology. You suggest however that it shouldn’t be paid work and as such we shouldn’t intentionally set out to achieve this goal. Apparently if we have a big enough recession then all the unemployed people will voluntarily take up the challenge of solving this problem in their now extensive spare time.

      If we just look at the amount of effort required to solve we would probably immediately conclude that it can only be solved via full employment (meaning the whole economy is committed to working towards the goal).

      • Bill 8.1.1

        If you are talking of a society bent on, for example, laying in appropriate infrastructures as fast as possible and doing that through modes of paid employment, than I’ve no argument with that.

        But where we have jobs merely for the sake of making some-one money and show no signs of shifting away from that…yeah, it’s not compatible with dealing to CC. If we had jobs audited for their social contribution or whatever, then I’d suggest that most jobs would disappear… keep doctors, nurses, engineers, sewage workers etc – to hell with the rest (before we wind up in hell because of the rest.)

        Like I said, you don’t have to like the situation we are in. But we do need to face up to it…or face a chaotic and probably very ugly revolutionary change being forced on us by CC.

        • Nic the NZer

          Since in your view there is no more sustainable available technology than the ones presently deployed in the economy then we can never deal with climate change.

          I think beyond the doctors, nurses, engineers, sewage workers etc you still appear to be intending to keep the other people around? What are you intending to do to deal with their consumption? What your suggesting is in no way a solution its just giving up.

          • Bill

            The sustainable tech that is available is what we have. We need more of it – a lot more of it. It takes time to lay it in. We don’t have that time. (There is no ‘having our cake and eating it’)

            Have you an objection to people no longer being profligate consumers of trash for 20 or 30 years because we need to chop the legs off our energy use? Why?

            If we do what needs to be done, we can go back to living this way in a couple of generations time if we want to. The reason we can go back to this is because all the zero carbon tech around energy will be in place.

          • maui

            Sustainable tech still requires a lot of energy and emissions to put in place. Bill is right that the CC solution is degrowth, but middle class people won’t volunteer to give up what is the most affluent lifestyle in history. So degrowth will be forced upon them, as we’ve burnt through all the cheap energy to get us where we are now. We can’t maintain continual economic growth with what we’ve got left. Basically we end up looking like Greece. Plenty of jobless angry people, inter generational conflict as the youth get poverty while they expect the riches their parents had. people won’t be able to afford consumption.

            • Nic the NZer

              “Sustainable tech still requires a lot of energy and emissions to put in place.” That would make it not very sustainable, especially if it requires more emissions than it saves. Yes, we need to deal with it using real existing technology.

              In order to deal with CC the best strategy is as quick as possible shifts to sustainable technology, and processes. But if somebody invests in (buys) that technology in order to make it happen that is a positive contribution to GDP, and it contributes to economic growth.

              Bill’s suggestion is quite directly to create a situation like Greece, he is advocating mass unemployment, with plenty of jobless angry people. This will only lead to the government and its economic policy being thrown out.

              Recessions can lead to a short term reduction in economic output and consumption, but they don’t cause any investment in sustainable technology (probably mostly driving down investment) so your limiting your mitigation options right there. And the consumption of an unemployed person is not so much different to that of an employed person anyway.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        Apparently if we have a big enough recession then all the unemployed people will voluntarily take up the challenge of solving this problem in their now extensive spare time.

        Actually, they probably would. It’s peoples propensity to be creative and do things for nothing that the capitalists exploit to make themselves rich.

        • Nic the NZer

          Really? On a comment thread for an article about persistent unemployment?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Just because people are unemployed doesn’t mean that they’re not doing anything. It just means that they’re not part of formal employment.

    • savenz 8.2

      @ Bill Totally disagree

      “he only way to come close to achieving climate targets is via de-growth or a recession or however you want to term it, and that’s going to involve mass unemployment.”

      If you look at Germany they have capitalised on solar as a technology and created valuable IP, likewise electric cars in US etc.

      Change creates opportunities.

      Our government only has the vision of low value commodities as a NZ export.

      We need a government that is committed to higher value items and capitalising on IP in particular addressing climate change.

      We can grow our economy and decrease our emissions.

      I’m against TPP because it does not address this as a solution. It seems to be encouraging polluters and corporate welfare, a widespread out of control problem already worldwide.

      Do tax payers want to pay more for medicine, pollute waterways etc to subsidise a foreign owned dairy farm in NZ who will only get a few extra dollars for it anyway under TPP and the added value is added offshore? Already happening! Are these businesses even paying any taxes locally or is it a loss?

      Look at the OZ banks making billions of profit. Our government and others all said Kiwibank would never make it. They don’t want to invest in our country and businesses.

      Inequality and pollution is increasing because the 5% are profiting from it and they control the message, the media and the government and they are not interested in climate change until they can profit from it.

      • Bill 8.2.1

        We cannot grow the economy and decrease emissions. The economy is global and not every country’s energy profile is the same. What I mean by that (I gave the example yesterday) is that if nuclear was to be the solution, then 3000 or 4000 nuclear power stations would need to be built to provide just 25% of current global energy demand. We cannot build that scale of infrastructure fast enough. The only way forward is to crash demand in the short term (20 or 30 years) while we lay in the infrastructure we’ll need. Crashing the demand means recession or de-growth given that emissions are so closely aligned with economic activity.

        • savenz

          People should not even be building nuclear power stations!!! They only exist because they are a way to get nuclear weapons. They are a complete waste of money and a polluter! Look at Japan with Climate change and their Tsunami. Did the US rush in and help when their reactor melted down? Nope no one wants to touch nukes when things go wrong with a barge pole.

          In most part of the world in particular NZ you should just use solar or wind power. Solar is cheap and easy. Everyone could put a solar array up tomorrow and NZ power would reduce but the private power companies don’t want that!

          Again we could have put in public transport – like the petrol tax in Auckland to pay for it. User pays. But no, central government stopped that.

          We are going to end up like Thailand with masses of traffic and pollution because our government and officials are idiots that want to keep funding their pet donors and lobbyists are paying ‘scientific advisers’ to keep the old systems going.

          In France they have a 35 hour week. There are a lot of ways to address unemployment. In NZ they want the low wage economy because that is this governments economic vision for the country. Migration is part of that to keep wages low and cars on the road.

          Cows and cars, that is the NZ governments answer.

          • savenz

            And a lot of debt.

          • Bill

            I wasn’t making any judgement of the attraction or otherwise of nuclear power. The example is merely an indication of the sheer volume of infrastructure that’s required. It would take 20 or 30 years to lay it in – that’s true whether we’re talking solar, wind or whatever.

            That’s no big deal. Except for the annoying fact that we need to be reducing emissions by huge amounts right now. To give a sense of what needs done, whereas just 4 years ago, it was calculated that Annex 1 countries (essentially the OECD) needed to implement cuts at 10% per year, it’s more like 15% now because we didn’t do a fucking thing in 2011.

            We cannot continue with our current economy while zero carbon infrastructure is built. There is not a single economist who sees emission reductions on the scale we need to make as being compatible with economic growth – not one.

            We have a simple choice. De-growth – quite rapid de-growth – right now, or tinker around the edges, try to protect the market economy and get it, and a lot more besides, utterly devastated by the impacts of CC.

        • Nic the NZer

          “We cannot grow the economy and decrease emissions.”, Definitely false and the basis for your miss-apprehension.

          Its clearly false because we could replace coal or other carbon polluting power stations with nuclear (or other sustainable technology), this both grows the economy and decreases emissions. You are plainly wrong in your key premises and so your conclusions are totally incorrect.

          There are clearly lots of other examples of more sustainable technology or processes which could be adopted.

          • Bill

            Firstly. We need cuts of about 15%. (The science) We need to be doing that as of now. The economy (according to all economists) can only withstand cuts of under 5%.

            Secondly. The infrastructure doesn’t just pop up like in some fcking kids 3D book! And we have to look at the infrastructure in a global context. It will take (at best) a couple of decades to build the shit. (How long Christchurch now?) We essentially have to replace most of what we have. Meanwhile, we need to be drastically reducing emissions now. We simply don’t have the 20 years – the luxury of a slow feed in leading to an emissions slow down followed by a drop.

            • Nic the NZer

              Sounds like a problem which requires urgent action. Not the sort of thing I would leave to a bunch of people who are pre-occupied with looking for work. Would definitely rather get on with it rather then have them job hunting.

              BTW, any political party which announces its going to cause a recession is un-electable.

              • Bill

                Sounds like a problem which requires urgent action.

                This is a serious query Nic. Do you think I’m making things up, or coming in off the back of dubious sources or unreliable data/information?


                • Nic the NZer

                  No, I think you believe that the economy can’t grow without more energy consumption. Climate change mitigation not only can result in higher employment it pretty much has to because of the scale of the problem. Economic growth and growth in resource use are not necessarily connected, they are too strongly connected at present that is what needs to be changed.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Economic growth and growth in resource use are not necessarily connected, they are too strongly connected at present that is what needs to be changed.

                    Sorry there’s no time left for such change. Maybe if we had started hard down this path in the 1970s.

                    Far too late now.

                    And you may be right in theory that economic growth and growth in resource use are not necessarily connected, but in practice over the last 500 years they are absolutely and directly connected.

                    Only way to “save the world” now is to collapse conventional economic activity.

                    • Bill

                      If, in 1990 when the political world claimed to be taking things seriously, we’d acted and begun laying in zero carbon infrastructure (and even then, it might have required a ‘Marshal Plan’), then we could have been using any amount of energy we wanted by now and been in the luxurious position of only being concerned about diminishing resources.

                      But we didn’t. So we’re not. And still most people seem to think we can carry on doing shit the way we have been. Which we can. Not very pleasant consequences though….

                  • Bill

                    I think the fact that every single orthodox (ie – market orientated) economist has said that any reduction in CO2 emissions beyond about ~ 5% = economic collapse (to the extent that CC models never factor in reductions greater than a max of ~ 5% and usually only much lower), and the fact that the only time CO2 emission reduction was above 5% for any length of time was because of a brutal economic collapse (the USSR), that it’s unreasonable to contend we can have growth and meaningful CO2 reductions.

                    There is, as far as I know, no theoretical basis for that claim and there is no example of it ever having happened in the real world.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Hate to have to do this to you Bill (/sarc)


                      “The graph of GDP clearly shows that the pathways that reduce emissions the most in that time frame (2.6 – green, and 4.5 – red) are those with the best long-term economic performance. In other words, the investment required to reduce emissions is repaid by increased economic performance.”

                      You will observe from the discussion that climate mitigation is likely to have a positive impact on GDP, in and of itself.

                    • Bill

                      Sorry Nic, I’ve quickly skimmed those three levels of article looking for what rate of reduction they are talking about. You can argue whether it’s cheaper or more costly to take measures (I’d say it’s cheaper). But that completely misses the point.

                      We need, as of now, to reduce emissions by about 15% per year in ‘the west’ and globally hit zero by mid-century to have any chance of avoiding +2 degrees C.

                      There is nothing in your link, not that I can see, that states the envisaged or projected short/medium/long term %age decreases in emissions that come from their projections. I’d be willing to bet you a shoal of chocolate fish, that if it’s discoverable by jumping through a series of links and drilling down into dense reports, that there ain’t anything above 5% and probably not anything even close to 5%

                      That’s crucially important when talking CC and considering reports. Because limitations are set in place (no more than 5% reduction) and because it’s the cumulative emissions that matter, then peak dates, emission rates, novel technologies, carbon budgets…all these things get variously inserted, massaged or tweaked to deliver a politically palatable outcome or conclusion. The problem with that is that it isn’t a scientifically credible outcome or conclusion.

                      And then arguments like the one you linked are based on those politically palatable but scientifically busted reports.

                      edit. Apologies in advance if that explanation is as clear as mud. The long and the short of it is…demonstrably false inputs to major climate models produce false and misleading outputs. Basing arguments on those outputs is an exercise in meaninglessness.

                    • Bill

                      From your link.

                      British Columbia reduced personal fuel use by 17.4% – over a time span of five years. We need 15% per year.

                      Later in the basic presentation reduction is (as always) kicked into the long grass.

                      In the long term, unless we drastically reduce the rate at which we are still emitting greenhouse gases…

                      (my emphasis)

                      To repeat, we need reductions in the order of 15% per year, year after year as of now

                    • Nic the NZer

                      You just don’t know when your on a loser do you, Bill?

                      “I’ve quickly skimmed those three levels of article looking for what rate of reduction they are talking about”

                      The scenarios are based on IPCC Representative Concentration Pathways.

                      “We need, as of now, to reduce emissions by about 15% per year in ‘the west’ and globally hit zero by mid-century to have any chance of avoiding +2 degrees C”

                      The most aggressive 2.6 reduction pathway reaches net 0 by mid century, eventually avoiding 2 degrees as you describe. Not clear if that’s 5% per year, but that is beside the point which is being made.

                      Bringing it back on topic, the discussion point was does climate change mitigation mandate reductions in GDP. In the prior comment you suggested that, “I think the fact that every single orthodox (ie – market orientated) economist has said that any reduction in CO2 emissions beyond about ~ 5% = economic collapse”.

                      So I showed you an absolutely mainstream economic analysis and here is the subtle point which you failed to understand. Each of those RCP/GDP scenarios contains a balance of effects. There is a massive economic cost to doing nothing about climate change, so there is some positive benefit (relative to that) to mitigating that. There is also a second effect, mitigation of climate change contributes positively to GDP. Now, in each of those projections as the mitigation strategy gets more aggressive, GDP projections increase. Either they didn’t go far enough and even the most aggressive 2.6 strategy could be improved on with a still more aggressive mitigation strategy, or the increase in GDP is largely because the economic models used here are suggesting that climate change mitigation contributes positively to GDP. So your claim that economic models project a mitigation strategy undermines GDP, or is projected to cause an economic collapse, is simply BS. They suggest its a positive contribution to GDP as well, just as I said.

                      You can undermine the credibility of such economic modelling all you want, but you brought it up. Its really sad when our climate activists are running climate denier lines for them.

                    • Bill

                      Nic. The IPCC does not factor in reductions of above 5% in any of its scenarios. The reason they don’t is because (and this is the scientists…the modelers… who are being told this by the economists) any reductions in excess of 5% are not compatible with a market economy and so not to be modeled for.

                      And so they (the modelers) compensate to produce politically acceptable conclusions. (ie – 2 degrees is possible via incremental changes) In doing so, they build models that are riddled with scientific falsehoods.

                      Your 2.6 pathway has a global peak in emissions before 2020 btw. And that ain’t happening.

                      edit – and carbon capture and storage (from your link) The extended RCP2.6 pathway assumes sustained net negative anthropogenic GHG emissions after the year 2070

                      Mitigation costs less than doing nothing. Yes – that should be pretty obvious. But it only cost less in market economic terms in a scenario that the market economy can survive – ie, less than 5% CO2 reduction per year.

                      Let’s put it this way. Whether the economy can survive or not, we cut at 15%, yes? And if the economy survives, all well and good. If it tanks, hey ho. According to your argument, the more mitigation, the higher the economic return. Meanwhile, the science is demanding cuts in the order of 15%. Now, want to hazard a guess as to why not a single government is putting anything like that level of reduction on the table? I mean, it’s a gold mine, yes? Surely they wouldn’t turn their backs on such an economic winner?

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “The IPCC does not factor in reductions of above 5% in any of its scenarios. The reason they don’t is because (and this is the scientists…the modelers… who are being told this by the economists) any reductions in excess of 5% are not compatible with a market economy and so not to be modeled for.”

                      [citation needed]

                      That’s a rather strange claim to make Bill, because with each step towards more severe mitigation scenarios GDP is getting better (according to the same economists, who are also saying 5% is untenable?). I suspect that the reason 5% is considered untenable is due to limitations on technology, but this does not suggest GDP will crash as a result. It might suggest that its considered physically impossible to achieve that rate of transition. Its also possible the rate of transition could be higher in a command economy, but again this in no way suggests GDP would crash, it would be higher again.

                      Part of the problem with government inaction might have something to do with the commonly held (but largely unsubstantiated) belief that the economy can’t survive serious mitigation strategies.

                      Also how widespread is this belief, among the Green community, that the IPCC is a conspiracy which fabricates its economic reports to reach conclusions opposite to what they believe in private?

                    • Bill


                      about 20min in if you only want the bit about economists dictating parameters to climate change modelers. I’d recommend the entire 40 odd minutes, but up to you.

                      As for your contention that just because mitigation is profitable in a market economy where the market economy persists that that must mean that the market economy will persist regardless is….well analogously, a little strychnine does one good. A little more may well do one a little more good. But then….

                      And you’re ignoring that the 2.6 scenario is like all IPCC scenarios, bollox….unrealistic peak dates and CCS embedded.

                      In plain language, the complete set of 400 IPCC scenarios for a 50% or better chance of 2°C assume either an ability to travel back in time or the successful and large-scale uptake of speculative negative emission technologies. A significant proportion of the scenarios are dependent on both ‘time travel and geo-engineering’.


              • Colonial Viper

                BTW, any political party which announces its going to cause a recession is un-electable.

                That’s why the world will continue to spiral down the drain. More growth, more consumption, more energy use, fucked.

          • Detrie

            Speaking to an engineer, the latest generation of solar panel technology holds immense promise. Doubling in efficiency every 18 months. There are already plans in the US for massive solar farms producing electricity that would rival many hydro stations and be way cheaper to establish than anything before.

            The better option here is not as replacement power stations, but their widespread use in private homes and commercial properties, reducing individual power bills. This is already common in small town Australia.

            p.s. Lucky we avoided buying shares in those electricity companies sold off a while back, since these are unlikely to lead the way. Established providers never do.

  9. savenz 9

    Also for example we have a housing problem and an unemployment problem. Put 2 and 2 together and teach unemployed how to build houses on all that government land sitting there wasting. Habitat for humanity style.

    Solves problems, gives unemployed a trade and experience, gives the homeless or 1st home buyers houses and gets rid of all that land sitting around waiting for ‘developers’ to build on it.

    Even if it is sold at cost to qualified 1st home buyers – there are so many positive things that could be done, but this government – nothing to help anyone but their rich mates.

    • Nic the NZer 9.1

      Maybe, the problem is not a capacity problem however. The existing building sector could probably build all the houses desired quite quickly, but its only going to do that if there is somebody to pay for them. If that’s true it indicates that its not a capacity problem, its a lack of demand backed by credit. Giving people a skill still doesn’t create a demand for that skill, so you still need some way to address that issue.

      • savenz 9.1.1

        @Nic the NZer – there is very little capacity in the building sector – the qualified builders are in a boom. People are no longer building 3 bedroom 1 bathroom places, instead builders might spend 1-2 years on a place with swimming pool, multiple suites and living areas. Since the liability is on the individual builder who do you think hey want to work for, a person with a lot of money or a leaky home that they might become liable for? As far as I am aware the developer can still develop substandard homes and just go bankrupt and start again with limited address by anyone effected. But an individual builder will be liable.

        Added to this is that instead of a builder doing the whole build, now everyone is a specialist so you might need 7 different trades to do one bathroom for example which increases the delays, costs and sign offs needed. If someone does not turn up the whole project gets delayed.

        Regarding your concerns about demand, there seem to be plenty of 1st home owners keen to get into the housing market and the government is selling off the state houses – but where is the money going? Not to help the needy but the rich.

        A skill like building is a skill for life and would be valuable to the recipient.

        You could easily have a tender for architects to design simple houses for our new ‘state houses’ to be built on mass.

        One of the problems of corporatising tertiary education is again it is subsidising the employee. Instead of the ‘trades’ apprenticeship of old, in building and electricity and telecoms, now employees pay for their education and then pay the government back in loans, and then often need tops ups because their wages are so low to live etc.

        Then the business who normally not even local, ships off the profits. So the employee pays more, the government pays more, the service is expensive as there are so few doing it and the business just gives the returns to it’s shareholders which a lot of creaming off on the way, to the people who own most of everything anyway.

        Does that sound fair and efficient? Nope.

        • Visubversa

          The majority of the 6 bedroom7 bathroom McMansions being built in Auckland are done by gangs of Chinese builders using materials brought in by the container load from China.

        • greywarshark

          That needs to be spelt out plainly and often. Most os us have no idea of how the circular community trading system had been rejigged. Education – job – earnings – spent in community – making jobs for others to do things for others – and round again. Sio many are being cut out of the loop. People need to ask ‘What are these pollies doing? Who are they serving? What notice of our needs do they take? Are they committed to ensuring we have good wellbeing and a place for all?

        • Nic the NZer

          The idea that training can solve this sounds all to similar and familiar to the perennial National Party policy plank, of training can solve the problem of the unemployed. What ever skills they acquire there still needs to be demand for those, and the lack of demand is most likely a significant part of the cause of what kinds of houses you are seeing built as far as I can see.

          The housing problem is better described as a housing price problem I think, there are pretty much enough houses available for everybody, just lots of people can’t afford to occupy one. Your notion that there are not enough comes from economics arguments about supply and demand, but this is frequently false or much more complicated in reality than that.

          This statement “One of the problems of corporatising tertiary education is again it is subsidising the employee” is rather confused about terminology. Student loans are the opposite of subsidising the employee, they are plain old user pays for education. Subsidising might mean offering free tertiary education, and would I suggest be a good policy to go back to.

          If there are no decent alternatives (and there are alternatives) to increase wages then you need wage subsidies, because the alternative is poverty wages and working poverty and its a worse disaster.

          • savenz

            I’m not suggesting the Natz policy of getting the unemployed off a benefit by making them take out a loan for a course they don’t want.

            I’m talking more a results focused way of on the job training where people are paid more than the unemployment benefit to learn how to build houses (for free) and build houses on land owned by the government for the sole purpose of state housing OR housing at cost price for 1st home buyers.

            With real targets of building real houses. They have the land, they have the unemployed, the surely must be able to find some builders who can teach, just put them together and make them build some houses to a set format like the old state houses but modernised by an architect for more open living etc.

            The private sector is pretty busy creating McMansions at present not affordable houses so like in the 1950’s maybe the government can step in with a big build of state houses.

            Sorry about “One of the problems of corporatising tertiary education is again it is subsidising the employee” The autocorrect changed it – I was talking about the employeer is subsidised, Not employee.

            With all the profits going out of the country, it is clear that many businesses in NZ can afford higher wages, but why would they, when they don’t have to?
            The government offers them corporate welfare to boot and licks their boots about creating low paid jobs? It’s not just low paid, think of the Banks profits while they make middle class people redundant and Fonterra CEO being given an 18 % pay rise while farmers get a low pay out and more workers are being made redundant – all while importing in, cheaper workers.

            It is the distribution of wealth that is the problem in our country.

            If the job is so poorly paid that the person can afford to live is that acceptable? Think of supermarkets, aged care, fast food, petrol stations, where the actual industry is extremely rich but constantly trying to keep wages down and actually have the tax payers then subsidise them.

            I am not talking about overseas companies that are creating a lot of well paid jobs in this country, there are excellent employees around but many who are not and some industries are more likely to exploit.

            I’m not against globalism, just modern slavery for the working poor and the tertiary educated minimal wage earner.

            • Nic the NZer

              ” so like in the 1950’s maybe the government can step in with a big build of state houses.”

              Sounds like a good way of solving the demand problem right there.

              “I was talking about the employeer is subsidised, Not employee.” That was clear to me from the context.

              “Think of supermarkets, aged care, fast food, petrol stations, where the actual industry is extremely rich but constantly trying to keep wages down and actually have the tax payers then subsidise them.”

              No question about the problems, the question is what you would do about it. Taking away employer subsidies doesn’t make them pay higher wages out in any way that I can see.

              • savenz

                Put up the minimum wage and name and shame employeers who don’t pay the living wage.

                Start celebrating employers that do do the right thing and pay decent wages to all AND the spread from executives to lowest paid employee is small.

                Get rid of all the ‘self employed’ business set ups like Chorus – where there are 20 go betweens which mean you can’t actually get your phone on and the technician turns up without speaking English and not knowing which pair to join up on the cable.

                The telecom call centre (I kid you not!!) – has a 1 hour wait for service and during that they ask you to fill in a survey about customer service. It a Fucking Telecom service part run and owned by the government!! 1 HOUR WAIT. Sorry can’t employ anyone to serve you!

                NZ is actually unreal how bad many businesses are.

                The supermarkets, the petrol stations all set up as stand alone businesses – the one the consumers seem to interact with all on minimum wages.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Now your talking!

                  Just want to add one more. The government offers an employment guarantee, anybody who wants a job can go to WINZ and get assigned a job for 40 hours a week (paying minimum wage). If employers want workers they need to offer better than that!
                  (Note what the jobs entail is not so important, but workers could be made available to the non-profit sector).

                  • sabine

                    i had an interview with a Job Broker from Winz in regards to a full timer I am planning to hire.
                    Oh my oh my that was someting, and it was over 8 weeks ago.
                    I never even received a CV from her. She did call two weeks ago, to let me know that she was on leave and lost her notes of our interview and if I could email her my requirements and rharharha. I told her that i would be sorted for the christmas period and would hire for the new year after anual leave.

                    I expected better.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      That sounds absolutely appalling.

                      But a job guarantee would not see WINZ functioning as a job advertisement agency for the private sector. Once they signed people up as on call to work the policy should be that they are paid for their hours if there is no position open to be filled.

                      Note, the jobs would not be in the private sector as WINZ receives no income for the workers it assigns. They may be in the non-profit sector, or some roles in the public sector (probably unskilled work). If the private sector wants workers it still needs to pay them.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Labour can’t improve unemployment very much because Labour follows the same economic prescriptions as National, other than at the very margins.

    • Bill 10.1

      Embrace unemployment! What the fuck is so wrong with it, bar that as a society we castigate the unemployed and make their life more difficult than it need be?

      When slavery was abolished, the deal was that if we worked for a portion of our life then, unlike the slave, we could ‘buy’ our freedom by way of a retirement pension. And our kids would have a better life than us. Progress, sacrifice and a better future.

      Thing is, whether you believe that story of inter-generational improvement or some other version of it, is now beside the point. Whether you think a job is fundamentally different to slavery is also entirely beside the point.

      The numbers as they relate to CC and the economy simply don’t stack up.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        I agree with you – we need to transition off the model of employer – employee – paid work ASAP.

  11. Expat 11

    NZ has the capacity to provide full employment, but a lot of changes are needed, NZ has one of the highest energy costs to is users, energy companies amount large profits at the expense of the internal economy (profits to shareholders often goes overseas instead of being recycled), if more money was left in the pockets of individuals( by way of lower energy bills) to spend in the local economy you would find that consumer demand would increase (through spending in the local economy), this always leads to increased employment, as employment increases so does consumer demand and so the cycle continues and if you multiply the number of unnecessarily high charges incurred on the general public for whatever the gov feels like charging(rates, water rates, ruc telecoms) the list goes on and on, even if they were only reduced by a small amount, the economic benefits to the internal economy would be profound. In late 2010 JK announced that NZ could not improve it’s economic position by trading with one another, there fore no effort will be placed on the internal economy (a bit silly when it does affect all citizens). instead they put up GST to 15% (the most harmful regressive tax ever) and threw NZ into a very deep recession, which has not recovered fully from. GST in NZ is unique, it’s the only country in the world where GST is charged on 97% of all goods and services, the average, globally, is 51%, So those countries we compare with a high GST, say 45%, comparatively is less than what is payed in NZ, reform of the whole tax system needs to occur to make it fairer, lets face it, since 2010’s tax changes, the gov has had to borrow to make up the short fall in revenue, and the economy, internally has stagnated, sure the dairy farmers did well, but as we can see it wasn’t sustainable.
    NZ needs a healthy internal and export driven economy to provide the robust economy for full employment, the reality is that the more people working, the more revenue the Gov gathers, the more it has to spend on public spending, reduced health costs, less social problems (domestic violence).

  12. Gangnam Style 12

    The Govt brought in youth rates to boost youth employment, did it work? They also justified the 90 day fire law to boost the numbers of māori into employment (because of their high numbers in the stats), did this work?

  13. CnrJoe 13

    U.S unemployment 70% + L.A Times from
    Chris Hedges on What it Takes to be a Rebel in Modern Times 3minutes in for the time deprived

    so what would NZ’s real unemployment be?

    • sabine 13.1

      venture a guess, 10 – 15 %.
      If you facture in 0 hour contracts, part time and casual…..20%+ that are living day to day and only survive with the help of family and the occasional benefit.

  14. Nic the NZer 14

    “so what would NZ’s real unemployment be?”

    SNZ measures unemployment and under-employment. So does Roy Morgan.

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