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What will National do on student allowances?

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, August 27th, 2008 - 32 comments
Categories: education - Tags:

Spotted in the Waikato Times:

Cambridge High School students did their best to get a policy out of him, but National leader John Key stayed tight-lipped on his party’s student allowance stance yesterday:

Of National’s policy, Mr Key said: “We haven’t announced it yet, but we’re looking at it very closely … I think we will make some changes.”

We know Mr Key likes to say what people want to hear – but I would suggest that raised expectations could become a problem on this topic. With costs of around $730 million for a universal student allowance it’s hard to see how they can pursue their “north of $50/wk” tax cut with such an expensive allowance policy. So wouldn’t it just be better to be up front and say so? Or give an indication of where the priorities for future spending in tertiary education are likely to be?

I’m also still interested to know whether National back these pylons through the Waikato or not – hard to tell from this:

Proving that politics is not over the heads of teenagers, the students quizzed the leader of the Opposition on everything from Kiwisaver, how soon they could get high-speed internet in their homes, the retirement age, and how long it takes to get into Parliament, to Mr Key’s view on the giant pylons proposed to cut through the Waikato.

“That’s getting a bit personal dude,” Mr Key replied when asked about the pylons.

“We are worried about security of supply … but my personal view is they are damn ugly.”

I thought he didn’t have a personal view anymore?

Key: “Well I, I mean in a sense, I never have a personal view these days, I mean if I express a personal view, that ultimately turns into the party view, I’m, I am the, the, the [sic] voice piece if you like, or the, the [sic] face of the National Party, and so no I really don’t have the ability to give a personal view, um, maybe except to my wife and, um, I do that behind closed doors.” TV One, Breakfast, 2 Apr 2008

32 comments on “What will National do on student allowances? ”

  1. John Stevens 1

    [lprent: Killed a threadjack. Use the post about this topic, don’t spread it all over the place unless you can place it in context. I can tolerate a bit of thread jacking – but this is ridiculous.]

  2. Scribe 2

    John,

    When do you propose to post on this bombshell dropped by Owen Glenn, or are you awaiting a memo from the 9th floor?

    I’m rarely one to defend poster on The Standard, but, um, you might like to look here: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2810

    It was even posted before your comment.

    [lprent: 🙂 You must have written that while I was nuking his comment for gross threadjacking. First comment in a new thread! When there was a post on the topic. Oh well he’ll learn. ]

  3. What will National do with student allowances?

    Same thing they try to do every time – cut them in real terms (most likely by not indexing to inflation), while offering a ‘better loan scheme’.

  4. Matthew Pilott 5

    I’m surprised Key can make public apperances – they’re ‘looking’ at so much these days.

    What in the name of Sin have they been doing for the last nine years? I know policy normally takes a while to develop, but this makes me suspect they’ll make up policy based on the very latest focus group! (and then do something different) I guess in all honesty they have a battle plan for policy release, but why not say that?

  5. Better Dead Than Red 6

    Nothing will improve education and the human resources of new Zealand like making education a tradeable commodity. The religion that education should be available to all at no cost (impossible) is behind the complete and utter collapse of the education system in this country. Education facilities have been gradually replaced by gulags where young people are taught how to behave in a “socially acceptable manner” at the expense of any real education.

    If customers could buy and pay for the education they want, with their own money buy the exact product they want from the store they choose (rather than have socialist ideas forced down their throat by partisan ideologues), it would produce a more effective education system, a better educated public, and naturally a more productive society with a much higher standard of living.

    Having graduates and school leavers who are in the main a collection of semi-literate ignorant of history half educated soviet knuckle draggers is no benefit to any country. Anyone here ever read “The New Totalitarians”? Should be compulsory reading for students at the earliest possible age.

    The Nats haven’t got much of an idea on Education, but as hopeless as they are, they’re at least able to see the glimmer of the solution to the problems that beset schools and universities in NZ.

  6. Pascal's bookie 7

    “What in the name of Sin have they been doing for the last nine years?”

    Goats.

  7. r0b 8

    BDTR, I’m going to take a wild guess that you don’t work at either a school or a University. I’ll make a further bald assertion that you know sweet FA about either, how they work, or what kind of job they are doing. Or in short if you like – stop spouting bollocks.

  8. Quoth the Raven 9

    Your right BDTR the plebs don’t need an education otherwise they’ll start getting ideas above their station.

  9. Better Dead Than Red 10

    “Your right BDTR the plebs don’t need an education”

    They do actually Raven, and its “you’re”. (That bullet hole in your foot hurting much??)

    The charge that I do not want people to be educated shows a complete failure to comprehend the issue. My objective is to educate people and raise the living standards of all New Zealanders. I’ll grant that you may want that too. The argument is about method.

    Your method isn’t working. (as your own post demonstrates) There has to be a better way. I suggest there is not one person here that doesn’t agree that having a service provided by government means you’re going to get a third or fourth rate service.

    Combine that fact with lack of responsiveness to market requirements, and the interference of political ideologues, and any reasonable person has to agree that education in this country is a basket case. Again, there has to be a better way, and that way is allowing the citizens and parents to make the choices for themselves.

  10. Matthew Pilott 11

    Your right BDTR the plebs don’t need an education otherwise they’ll start getting ideas above their station.

    And God forbid poor people getting the opportunity to experience the same quality of education as the children of their betters.

    I love it how exponents of the free-market make the same mistakes that have been made in perpetuity – in this case, that parents would be able to make a perfect decision as to what education their children should recieve: “Dammit I said no, son, you’re not going to Performing Arts school – Daddy wants a lawyer for a son.”

    Or the other classic free-market fallacy, that the Market will always make the right decision; self-correct. Good call, I vote for opening up education, a cooperative enterprise, to market failure. There are examples of that throughout the world, I can’t see why you’d be in such a hurry to replicate them here.

    Honestly, BDTR, how does that work – do you decide what school you want your kid to go to based upon what you want them to be? What they want to be at the wise old age of five? Hell, at two I believe wanted to be a firetruck – I bet my folks were mighty pissed socialist ol’ NZ didn’t have a firetruck school back when I were a lad.

    Or, if you’re not talking about different types of schools, but differently priced ones, how will society as a whole benefit from prepetuating disadvantage?

  11. Better Dead Than Red 12

    “Honestly, BDTR, how does that work”

    Matt, I’m not going to waste my time trying to explain markets to half educated narrow minded communists, but what might help is if you think the next time you buy petrol about how that product got from under the ground and into your fuel tank, and how the supply chain all works so well and efficiently and the product does as it is meant to do. Imagine if education was delivered the same way.

    (Not quite the same of course. It would be much better free of all of the taxes and charges and regulations that have such a negative impact on petrol prices, but even as one who has had to suffer the debilitating effects of NZ’s education system first hand, I’m sure you’ll get my drift Matt.)

  12. Savage 13

    Privatising and handing education over to businessmen is all well and good but the streamlining effects that this has does not account for certain elements of society.

    Canterbury University is currently trying to eliminate large sections of its Arts department because they see it as unimportant in this modern age.

    “What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

    Oscar Wilde

    Your (the right your) simile of likening education to petrol sales shows how you view education, not a process of enlightenment but one of being topped up and moved on.

    If everyone here is a half educated, narrow minded communist then why do you continue to post here? Name calling is better suited to the playground or perhaps question time.

  13. Matthew Pilott 14

    BDTR, the next time I buy petrol, should I consider why it is so expensive (market failure in action) or consider how I am fortunate to be able to buy petrol, and think about those who can’t afford it, or can’t afford it for their kids?

    Should I think about the profit extracted by those who sell petrol, the ruthlessness and distruction its extraction brings, and that the sole goal of distribution and selling petrol is to make a profit, irrespective of the effect it will have on direct users and the externalities (it’s that market failure again). I could draw some scathing comparisons with education as a ‘product’ to be sold, if I did.

    Hell, I could even think about how, back on Wednesday the 27th of August, I was commenting on a blog and someone tried to use it as an metaphor for education, which merely showed how little thought said someone had been able to apply to their argument.

    BDTR, next time you give such an example, you’d probably do better to talk about buying a loaf of bread. And even then…

    There’s no point trying to discuss the cooperative nature of education and the vagaries of a market economy with blinkered pseudo-educated naive free-marketeers like you. Honestly, without government to save the rest of us from you, and you from yourself, this world would be one messed up place.

  14. Better Dead Than Red 15

    “Name calling is better suited to the playground or perhaps question time.”

    It is not name calling. The words are adjectives or nouns, and in my humble opinion, accurately applied. They are not meant as insults, merely fair descriptions of the people I am trying to make a point to. Get over your soviet state induced preoccupation with “abuse” and stick to the issue.

    What would be wrong with having education delivered in the manner of petrol? Its affordable, even to the poor people you profess to care about and even when more than half of the price is government charges. It meets demand, people buy the brand and type they want and according to how much they want to spend or how much of their income they decide to allocate to that product. People can buy LP gas or CNG diesel or even ethanol. (why would arts not be subject to market demand?) Where’s the real problem?

    [lprent: Generally around here the person you have to worry about is me. Especially on questions of names. ]

  15. Phil 16

    MP/Savage/BDTR

    I think I might have figured out the problem you guys are having in this debate… It all depends on how you actually view a ‘price’ of education and what that ‘price’ signals to market participants.

    Somewhat ironically, it’s the left wingers who are hung up on this concept of ‘price’ as being an exclusively monetary concept… what a funny old world.

  16. T-Rex 17

    I can’t believe he said “dude”.

    Was he wearing a baseball cap backwards? At least we know he wouldn’t have been signing ‘eastside’ – no sense risking alienating the other half of the audience.

    He is getting good though. That is a disgustingly misleading response.

  17. sean 18

    Matthew Pilott – where did you get the idea that petrol is expensive?

    Why don’t you go down to the supermarket and see how much it costs to buy a litre of water or a litre of milk and compare that to the price of oil which has comes from half way around the world and through a refinery?

  18. Better Dead Than Red 19

    “Matthew Pilott – where did you get the idea that petrol is expensive?”

    Like so many who find solace in the politics of leftism, he lives in a world of self delusion, myth and misconception. Petrol, if it is expensive is only made that way through government charges and faith based environmental constraints on exploration and development. Matt and his buddies are outraged that Exxon for example made billions in profits last year, but what they overlook is that the margin on turnover at around 10% or less is in no way remarkable and a lot less than other industries (pharmaceuticals 17%). The real elephant in the room tho is that Exxon paid four times that profit into the coffers of greedy spendthrift wastrel governments, who reap huge amounts from oil companies without bearing one milligram of risk.

  19. Draco TB 20

    BDTR:

    What would be wrong with having education delivered in the manner of petrol?

    Supply/Demand Curve – ignore D2.

    As price increases supply increases until demand and supply meet at equilibrium Q1. The market can’t reach everyone as it caters to market clearing price determined by where supply and demand are at equilibrium. Market equilibrium will always have some demand that is not catered to.

    Everyone on the demand curve, D1, to the right of Q1 is not getting educated. In a society everyone needs to be educated and not just the people who can afford it. So what we see here is the classic market failure – the market, quite simply, cannot and will not work as far as education is concerned.

  20. randal 21

    I will vote for the party that increases academic salaries and makes a commitment to the universities and the genuine spirit of enquiry.

  21. Savage 22

    You make me laugh BDTR.

    Exxon are hard done by governments. Governments are ripping off Big Oil. Big Oil works hard to be where it is. Governments are lazy.

    LOL

    I’m sorry but I can’t take you seriously anymore.

  22. Matthew Pilott 23

    Sean – ever heard of a tap?!

    BDTR – faith based constraints on exploration? I think the Prince William Sound put paid to that. You’re hankering for the Second Coming in the Alaskan “Northern Resource Area”…

    Phil – do elaborate (said without a smidgen of sarcasm), I look at an education market as with any other market – quality priced to exclude, and competitive. That’s not how education works well, I’m all ears for real alternatives but BDTR and every other chap who’s dropped a line always fail to elucidate – when is a market not a market? Because apparently, all of the normal failings of the market do not apply, for no good reason, when a small government proponent is speaking of hocking off a state-run sector. The rose-tinted glasses they wear must be a wonder.

    BDTR, here’s a question. Pick one of the following, and tell me how much you think the product has advanced in the last two years: Hair dye. Toothpaste. Air freshener. Tampons. Washing powder. Surface cleaner. Deodorant. Petrol.

  23. Education facilities have been gradually replaced by gulags where young people are taught how to behave in a “socially acceptable manner’ at the expense of any real education.

    Interestingly, not only does BDTR fail to actually define what real education is, but also spouts bs about how free education has failed children, when there is no evidence to suggest such.

    Also, I would add, do we not want children to behave in a socially acceptable manner? Surely, society demands that this be a by-product of education?

    Once again, as I have many times to our resident Hobbesian clones – go and live in Somalia – in your idyllic dystopia.

  24. The PC Avenger 25

    Policy Parrot, the correct term is “Libertopia”.

    It’s a wonderful land, where you take a vacation from reality, and have as much freedom and liberty as you can afford.

    The best bit about people of BDTRs’ bent is that they have the bizarre idea that in their no-government-free-market fantasy land they’d actually be successful, and not end up as some type of contract bound slave, or dead in a ditch (provided by market demand).

  25. Better Dead Than Red 26

    Why are you people so terrified at the thought of people having choices?

  26. The PC Avenger 27

    Because we’re all horrible, controlling, far left socialist communist nazi nanny statists. Yes, ALL of us. Every single person that supports the idea of the government being more than an entity to enforce the privileges of those with the most power is a socialist.

    Geez, I thought you already knew that.

  27. Draco TB 28

    Breaking News!!!
    Dogs proven to be more intelligent, thoughtful and fair minded than some people (who will remain nameless).

  28. The PC Avenger 29

    But you see “Dumbo TB”, those dogs are just that, dogs. They are slaves to their so-called masters, and act without TRUE choice. They are bound to follow the commands of others, and are without freedom. If they truely had freedom of choice, then they would be free to attack those that try to reduce their freedom. Certainly, there may be an increase in dog attacks, but this is simply the cost of freedom, which is not free, and would be corrected in any case by the self correcting properties of the market. This is what it boils down to, and what you limp wristed socialists will never understand: people need to be free to choose how to live their lives, free to choose who to buy their water from, and who to pay for protection from wild packs of freedom dogs. Without this freedom we are no better than the dogs bound to the chains of their masters. For those of you that complain about the so called ‘ethics’ of profiting off of peoples fear and misery, might I remind you that without BIG GOVERNMENT regulating the dog control industry, we would not have to worry about the dogs, and would end up with increased competition, lowering the prices. This in turn would break up the monopoly BIG DOG has over the control of wild dogs.

  29. Better Dead Than Red 30

    “Because we’re all horrible, controlling, far left socialist communist nazi nanny statists.”

    Well if you say so, but how did that declaration get thru the censor?? BTW, for perhaps the tenth time, I’m not a Libertarian. Sigh- university leftists. So politically narrow historically ignorant and half educated they don’t know anything of politics outside the spectrum of far left socialism. Do yourselves a favour. Read “The New Totalitarians” by Roland Huntford. You’re all featured. (as the villains of course.) You need to learn that there are alternatives. To state controlled education and so many other soviet style so called solutions.

    [lprent: Because a moderator let it through. SP seems to be online today. So moderated comments aren’t having to wait for my occassional scans. ]

  30. Phil 31

    MP,

    “BDTR, here’s a question. Pick one of the following, and tell me how much you think the product has advanced in the last two years: Hair dye. Toothpaste. Air freshener. Tampons. Washing powder. Surface cleaner. Deodorant. Petrol.”

    Do you normally post comments on blog’s while sitting in your bathroom?

    I think I sould point out that i’m a fence-sitter on private vs public education. I’m not convinced that either method, in and of themselves, provides adequete outcomes.

    I personally feel that public education is ‘leveller’ – it tends to produce a narrower standard of distribution; no child left behind, but no child well out in front either. Private educational facilites, again in my view, work in the opposite way – creating a larger pool of high achievers, but at the same time leaving some behind.

    Re; ‘education as a market’… It deserves a full response I don’t have time to complete now, but will try to do so over the next couple of days, sorry.

  31. Matthew Pilott 32

    Hi Phil, just saw your comment. All of those products illustrate that you can spend billions worldwide advertising ‘brand differentiation’ and getting people to buy your product, which is the same as everyone else’s product, while the market contributes little of value.

    My point is that when people such as BDTR talk of ‘choice’ it is framed in the terms of a 1950’s commercial – Dad, Mum and 2.1 children merrily skipping down the road to choose a school.

    All the normal failures of the market don’t seem to apply to it, all of a sudden. As in this instance, when I point out that there are problems with the market, all they can do is trot out the ‘you hate choice’ line, which has to be on a par with Bush’s ‘they hate us for our freedom’.

    I’ll check back to see if you can shed some light on the idea of a valid competitive education market, seeing as BDTR has shirked!

    P.S you have petrol in your bathroom?

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