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Wrong time for short-term thinking

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, October 14th, 2008 - 89 comments
Categories: climate change, economy, election 2008, Environment, families, greens, health, housing, national, tax - Tags:

National’s Nick Smith has announced that they would cancel the $1 billion fund to insulate New Zealand houses, which the Greens won as part of the Emissions Trading Scheme. This massive programme would improve energy efficiency, create warmer, healthier homes and would provide useful employment during the downturn. A study, ironically carried out under National and mentioned to me by Nick Smith, showed that insulating a State house saves $2 in health costs per $1 of insulation – it actually saves the Government money to invest in insulation. But National would cancel the plan. Their priority is tax cuts right now, not a myriad of benefits in the future. I suspect for Nick Smith, personally, this is another ‘dead fish’ he has to swallow to get back into power.

This is part of a disappointing trend from National. Under the Tories, we would see Kiwisaver gutted, R&D credits gone, and no money for insulating homes. These are all programmes that are a long-term investment in creating a wealthy, more high-tech, healthier, more efficient New Zealand but National would rather use the money for tax cuts for the rich (something like 80% of the extra money in National’s tax cuts goes to people on incomes over $100K). It’s this short-term thinking that got us into trouble in the 1990s. They attacked our public services, education, health, benefits and cut taxes for the wealthy. The effects are still being felt now as the children of the Mother of All Budgets reach adulthood.

Now, more than ever, I don’t think New Zealand can afford to be run by a party that refuses to make long-term investments in the future.

89 comments on “Wrong time for short-term thinking”

  1. Daveski 1

    You might have a more valid point if Labour had likewise made clear where it will cut back on spending.

    I also think you are being a little clever with the line that National is prioritising tax cuts at the expense of other programmes. National made clear that the tax cuts were fiscally neutral given the changes they announced to other policies.

    I contrast your approach to the above with the fawning treatment of the universal allowance for students with no indication of where this additional funding would come from. The VC of VUW doesn’t believe it is money well spent – but, as he said, there’s more student votes than lecturer votes 🙂

  2. Better Dead Than Red 2

    “These are all programmes that are a long-term investment in creating a wealthy, more high-tech, healthier, more efficient New Zealand”

    Maybe, maybe not. History is littered with the destructive results of wrong ideas of ideologues in government. ask the Soviet Union. (Where is that now??)

    Its more important that people are left to spend their money as they choose than it be taken off them and spent by socialists who automaticaly assume they “know better”. You people won’t be content until your gang of “intellectual” poseurs is deciding what grade of toilet paper you wipe your arses with.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    “I also think you are being a little clever with the line that National is prioritising tax cuts at the expense of other programmes. National made clear that the tax cuts were fiscally neutral given the changes they announced to other policies.

    Dave, love your work, but doesn’t prioritising mean changing some things to make room for the things you think are more important.

  4. forgetaboutthelastone 4

    “Its more important that people are left to spend their money as they choose than it be taken off them and spent by socialists who automaticaly assume they “know better’.”

    BDTR –

    History is littered with the destructive results of wrong ideas of ideologues in government. ask the USA. (Where is that now??)

  5. gobsmacked 5

    A stupid, stupid decision by National. I’m starting to wonder if they’re so freaked out by the financial crisis that they’ve decided the Opposition benches are nice and comfy after all.

    At the very least they need to roll out their own insulation programme, even if it’s scaled back. Let’s face it, the cost will only be a tiny fraction of what they would shell out to get the Maori Party’s support after the election.

    How can ultra-fast broadband be more important than heating your home? I suppose the porn will keep us warm.

  6. Better Dead Than Red 6

    “History is littered with the destructive results of wrong ideas of ideologues in government. ask the USA. (Where is that now??)”

    Good example- the sub prime loans crisis courtesy of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac- a socialist idea that went tits up. Who’s better off now?

  7. Daveski 7

    PB

    I think we agree.

    I also think I need to take a little of my own medicine – take ideas on their merits rather than on who proposed them. NZ houses are a disaster and I’m happy to agree that there are benefits.

    However, the bigger problem we currently have is the strong likelihood of significant deficits and new spending is going to have to be prioritised.

    I also note BDTR’s sentiments – for all the goodwill in the world, governments don’t have a great track record of constructive long-term investment over short term vote attractions.

    Four year election cycle anyone?

  8. Scribe 8

    I suspect for Nick Smith, personally, this is another ‘dead fish’ he has to swallow to get back into power.

    I think you might be getting your Smiths mixed up, SP. Lockwood was the “dead fish” guy.

    Was/is it really going to cost $1bn to insulate homes? How much do Pink Batts cost these days?

    [I know which Smith said what. Pretty useful in my life, not confusing one smith for another. But Lockwood’s words are a sentiment that Nick also expressed, just not as hilariously. SP]

  9. Better Dead Than Red 9

    “Four year election cycle anyone?”

    Makes no difference. Lay aside your government religion. The answer is a society made up of strong resourceful and independent citizens able to make wise decisions. Socialism, by isolating people from the effects of stupidity, results in the opposite outcome. A country of dummies. How the hell can this in long term or any term produce a “wealthy, more high-tech, healthier, more efficient New Zealand” ????? It can’t.

  10. milo 10

    It’s all about relative payoffs. Invest in the areas that give the greatest payoffs. Not just any payoff, but the greatest payoffs. Unfortunately, the views espoused at The Standard seem to measure only two payoffs – whether it supports Labour’s public position, and whether if fits their bribe the poor eat the rich ideology.

    That’s why we are getting poorer. Ideology has triumphed over empiricism.

  11. lprent 11

    Daveski:

    Four year election cycle anyone?

    That would have my vote.

    The 3 year cycle is ridiculously short because our election campaigns run longer under MMP to cover the increased electorates. You used to be able to mainly campaign in swing electorates because that and a bit of gerrymandering of electorate boundaries was all you needed to win. (ie National to win…)

    Now the campaign period is pretty much all of the election year (as the EFA recognized). However that interferes with the process of government. About a third of the electoral cycle is disrupted with campaigning

  12. G 12

    Thanks, BDTR, you beat me to it:

    “History is littered with the destructive results of wrong ideas of ideologues in government. ask the USA. (Where is that now??)’

    Good example- the sub prime loans crisis courtesy of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac- a socialist idea that went tits up. Who’s better off now?

    Indeed! Socialist ideologues precipitated the meltdown and now the socialists around the world are blaming the free market. It’s the un-free market which created this mess, you numbnuts.

    SP, that photograph is pure emotionalism, mate. Desperate.

  13. Daveski 13

    LP – have we agreed again??? At this rate, someone will have to show me the Youtube clip about the secret handshake!

    The three year cycle is a real problem – one year to sort out the roles, priorities, and deal with other logistical issues, one year to do something and then into an election year.

    It won’t help destructive policies from any side but it will allow constructive programmes more time to bed in.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    “that photograph is pure emotionalism”

    Kids huddle together in NZ homes every winter, while their parents’ hard-earned dollars disappear through the walls, for NO good reason whatsoever. That is a simple fact, and if you don’t know what is going on in your country, it’s time you learned.

    Some desperate distraction here – anyone want to comment on the issue? Do you support an insulation programme or not?

  15. Lew 15

    I dunno. a 100% return from infrastructure investment transferred to health service delivery (if the numbers SP cites are correct) sounds like a good deal – and that’s even if you don’t consider intangibles such as quality of life, the Kyoto Protocol impacts of lower heating bills, and the capital gain derived from improving state assets.

    All that said, I seem to recall someone from the Nats saying on the wireless that they had another scheme in the pipes. Curious to see how it stacks up.

    I also think it’s wonderful that a few National MPs are trying to put a bit of fresh air between themselves and their rivals – Nick Smith saying that this was a Labour/Green idea, and if people wanted it to become law they should vote for Labour or the Greens is just what we need – a bit of frankness and clarity.

    L

  16. milo 16

    Kids huddle together for warmth because power prices are so high. But Labour loves the excess profits that flow into its coffers as a result.

  17. Scribe 17

    Pb,

    Nick Smith saying that this was a Labour/Green idea, and if people wanted it to become law they should vote for Labour or the Greens is just what we need – a bit of frankness and clarity.

    I totally agree. I’ve been considering posting something along those lines for weeks. Most policies being released create a distinction between the two main parties. Now the public can decide what set of policies, what principles, they want in a government.

    Rather than chastising everything National says, regardless of what it is, Steve and others might be better off saying here’s what they say, here’s what Labour says, you the voter decide what you want.

  18. Roflcopter 18

    Good to see the kids used their own initiative and wrapped up, whilst the parents were off to pick up the welfare cheque before heading out to play the pokies.

  19. Lew 19

    The comment signed `L’ above isn’t Pascal’s Bookie – it’s me, Lew. It seems this wordpress thing is getting us mixed up (probably because we’re posting from the same IP address).

    L

    [lprent: thats interesting… I’ll scan the log for that.]

  20. lprent 20

    BDTR: Yeah right. The anarchist or libertarian society (I can’t tell the difference). Heinlein or Rand

    The only place that happens is on the net and it really winds up as “sysops rule”. Because they don’t really care much about users, then they just lop off the worst offenders. Actually it sounds a lot like feudalism in some ways……

    Now back in the real world, where we run societies that are not based around the simplicities (and outright romanticism) of variants on the “Noble Savage”…..

  21. Pascal's bookie 21

    heh, people’d be thinkin I done got smart.

  22. Lew 22

    Scribe: Yeah. I always feel like thanking pollies when they shoot from the hip and speak the unvarnished truth. like Stephen Franks and his `dog’ comment or Hone Harawira and his `racist bastard’ statement. It gives voters firm grounds on which to judge them.

    L

  23. Scribe 23

    Lew,

    Yep. “Chinless scarf-wearers”, “rich prick”, “f$%k you” were also very telling comments.

  24. Lew 24

    Perhaps I could use my powers to blacken the reputation of my esteemed colleague PB … but naw, it ain’t me, babe.

    L

    [lprent: Can’t see anything obviously wrong. I’ll need to have a look at the cookie coding tonight. But I actually suspect that is an oddity glitch in your sides cache. The data you’re describing is stored in the client side cookie when you’re not logged in (and neither of you are). It is almost as if something gave you his cookie.]

  25. Better Dead Than Red 25

    “Steve and others might be better off saying here’s what they say, here’s what Labour says, you the voter decide what you want”

    Yep, you can have tweedle dum, or tweedle dummer. A non choice brought about by the left’s long term strategy of incrementally imposing their destructive ideology upon NZ’s culture. Break free. Turn your back on totalitarianism and the soft tyranny of socialism. Return to freedom and choice and democracy, the concepts that once made NZ and the western world the best places on the globe to live.

  26. Lew 26

    Scribe: And `feral inbreds’ and Helen Clark’s statements about how she’d rather meet Shrek the sheep than the Foreshore and Seabed hikoi. There’s plenty more ammo where that comes from, if anyone cares to cast their minds back.

    L

  27. G 27

    Gob, it’s you who clearly doesn’t know what’s going on…

    “Kids huddle together in NZ homes every winter, while their parents’ hard-earned dollars disappear through the walls, for NO good reason whatsoever.”

    Not thru the walls, mate — thru their noses, in gobs of hidden taxes, and into inefficient frontline services. More bureaucrats than hospital beds?! What’s the good reason for that? You wanna know why Helen’s unemployment figures look so good? Bureaucracy is the fastest growing sector in NZ, with 1 in 50 kiwi employees now sucking on the taxpayer’s tit.

    And besides, if you really think there’s a global warming problem to worry about, shouldn’t you be asking the government to invest in air conditioners?

  28. roger nome 28

    It’s entertaining to see the right hypocritically opposing a scheme that would actually result in less government spending. Is it the thought of the poor having a better quality of life, or the fact that the greens/left came up with the idea which causes you oppose it?

    BTW – BDTR/redbaiter (I can spot your gape-jawed, bloated chest rhetorical style a mile off) – take it back to kiwiblog why don’t you?

    The adults are discussing some facts here. Something which seems to be beyond you.

  29. Better Dead Than Red 29

    Now back in the real world, where we run societies that are not based around the simplicities (and outright romanticism) of variants on the “Noble Savage’ ..

    If your policies were working, and fruitful, wouldn’t there be less need for welfare?? Why is that need, under socialism, always growing?

  30. Better Dead Than Red 30

    “take it back to kiwiblog why don’t you?”

    I’m preaching to the converted there. Thought I would try reaching out to the most morally and spiritually destitute. BTW they must be short of enforcement officers here if you’ve got the job.

    [lprent: Yes from your name – the converted are the Dead (in the head), because they surely ain’t Red. Couldn’t resist that 😈 ]

  31. Janet 31

    Two more short sighted policies announced by National.

    Bring back Plunketline. Well there is now a 24 hour health help line which has specialist nurses available. So people can ring up about anything and get a paediatric nurse if required. Plunketline only had nurses trained in babies and children, and there was often a huge wait getting an answer. It was actually cancelled by the Nat govt of the 1990s and Labour had to reinstate it, but it wasn’t as responsive or effective as it could be, as quite often people ring with more health issues than are at first obvious. Have they asked anyone whether they are not getting a satisfactory service from the current help line? But I bet a National govt wouldn’t fund both so which service would go?

    $11 million so new mothers can stay in hospital longer. I’ve rarely met a new mother who wants to stay in hospital a minute longer than they have to, even after a caesarian, if there is a midwife or plunket nurse available to visit them at home. This policy will mean even more money spent on building hospital wards and I bet will be matched by cutbacks in midwives and plunket nurses available for home visiting.

    Who is advising the Nats with these short sighted policies? Obviously not people with real recent experience.

  32. Better Dead Than Red 32

    “It is almost as if something gave you his cookie.”

    ..and his brain cell. Don’t worry about it. They both spout the same old socialist rubbish, it don’t really matter what they sign off as.

  33. randal 33

    because the world is constantly under attack from the media to buy stuff that will make them “happy” and will make them look better than their neighbours. its all external referencing. i.e. I have a big car therefore I have a big dick. you cant see home insulation therefore there is no need for it. do you understand now?

  34. G 34

    Let me assist you, Iprent:

    “The anarchist or libertarian society (I can’t tell the difference).”

    No-government mob-rule versus limited constitutional government.

    “… Actually it sounds a lot like feudalism in some ways…”

    During the 19th century it was free trade that undercut and ultimately destroyed the remnants of feudalism.

  35. Better Dead Than Red 35

    “I have a big car therefore I have a big dick. you cant see home insulation therefore there is no need for it. do you understand now?”

    I understand your problem yeah, but its not mine. I think for myself. Its the stifling overpowering influence of socialism that removes the populations ability to do this, and you, with your abject inability to think clearly and rationally, are a good example.

  36. roger nome 36

    “I’m preaching to the converted there”

    Yes – and you’re preaching to the bored, and unfortunately captive here. Do you really think your fact-free, frenzied rants have any impact on anyone even close to an average IQ? If so, i recommend that you get some professional help ASAP – for everyone’s sake.

  37. Better Dead Than Red 37

    “Yes – and you’re preaching to the bored, and unfortunately captive here”

    You need to get the police to arrest that man holding the gun at your head and forcing you to read these posts. I’m quite free to choose the posts I read. Don’t you wish you had that freedom?

    BTW Lprent- funny ain’t it. I’m always criticising the left for their lack of regard for freedom of expression, and I get a better run on here than on a blog run by a self professed “right winger”. (Matthew “Brian’s doing a good job” Hooten)

  38. lprent 38

    G: As I said I can’t tell the difference.

    The government looks so limited in both cases that it may as well not be there. That is also what seems to happen when it is tried in a few cases in history. The current case is in the net.

    What I was commenting is that you find that situation usually drops into warlords and feudalism. That is the effective case for the nets at present, but it tends to be a benevolent depotism because the people with the skills to do it have other more important things to do.

  39. higherstandard 39

    Scribe

    “Most policies being released create a distinction between the two main parties. Now the public can decide what set of policies, what principles, they want in a government.

    Rather than chastising everything National says, regardless of what it is, Steve and others might be better off saying here’s what they say, here’s what Labour says, you the voter decide what you want”

    Here here and that goes for all the blogs, TV channels and MSM.

    At the moment all we have is the red team vs the blue team and infantile analysis about the polls pottering up and down.

    Sadly I expect it to get worse starting with the two “leaders” screeching at each other on TV tonight with not a sensible question put to either of them let alone anything coherent out of their mouths.

  40. RedLogix 40

    Back on topic:

    I suspect for Nick Smith, personally, this is another ‘dead fish’ he has to swallow to get back into power.

    Interestingly on RNZ this morning Nick Smith defended the announcement in an interesting way. I think his words were close to this:

    “We will let the electorate decide if they like this (the insulation scheme)…. if they want to keep it they should vote Green or Labour”.

    Now that would be an interesting way of putting something at any stage of the electoral cycle… but right now within weeks of an election?

  41. roger nome 41

    BDTR:

    I can choose – but unfortunately people have to read at least part of one of your posts in order to find out that you’ve got nothing of worth to say. What part of captive don’t you understand?

  42. lprent 42

    BDTR: Yeah we’re a bit strange like that. I like having people making points and interacting. So long as it is interactive and may (actually probably) eventually get to “agree to disagree” I don’t care.

    It is just the trolls that piss me off (as we’ve discussed before). If I can code it, then I’m inclined to treat it as a program without intelligence.

    Dialogue is useful. Pure ranting isn’t…

  43. Better Dead Than Red 43

    “What part of captive don’t you understand?”

    Maybe the part that keeps you reading my posts when you clearly don’t want to. That’s what socialism does to you. Makes you thirst for real intellectualism.

  44. G 44

    Iprent, if you really can’t tell the difference between a system without government that spawns despotic warlords who wipe out individual liberties, and one of a limited government that protects the rights of the individual and prevents the rise of the aforementioned thuggery, then you really are starting too far back for me to waste time in explanation.

  45. RedLogix 45

    and one of a limited government that protects the rights of the individual

    It always amused me that the one part of government that libertarians always want to retain, the police and prisons…. is of course the most coercive component of it. The only social tool these so called lovers of liberty would have at their disposal… is the ability to deprive others of it.

    How bizzare!

  46. Positive and ambitious 46

    BDTR., G,….I too thirst for intellectaulism. This year’s recently announced nobel prize winner for economics has described the republicans as the “party of the stupid” What would he know though eh?

  47. G 47

    … and the thing that doesn’t amuse me, Red, is that you socialists can’t tell the difference between coercing the criminals and coercing the innocent; your brand of totalitarianism lumps us all into the same prison: collectivism.

  48. G 48

    “I too thirst for intellectaulism (sic).”

    Stop it, P&A, you’re giving me the stitch… 😀

  49. higherstandard 49

    P&A

    “What would he know though eh?”

    Hopefully far more about economics than Al Gore does about Global Warming 🙂

  50. coge 50

    OK back o/t. Anybody here ever done an adequate job insulating an old house? It pretty much involves gutting & re-jibbing the whole building. If possible to access the underfloor area do that as well. Double glazing is also required. For safety reasons it may also be necessary to undertake re-wiring while your at it. The existing Govt arrangement is ineffectual as leaving your windows open in winter. So it leaves me to wonder if it was implemented to please the greens,
    and other segments of the electorate. All new buildings are correctly insulated, so over time it will cease to be a problem.

  51. RedLogix 51

    G,

    can’t tell the difference between coercing the criminals and coercing the innocent

    And I suppose YOU would get to tell us who is criminal and who is innocent? What for example, if in your hypothetical libertarian world, a large group of people wanted to form a socialist society? Would you then, in order to defend your utopia, be compelled to decalre their ambitions illegal?

    Besides, libertarians would coerce other people all the time… only they politely call that ‘freedom of contract’.

  52. G 52

    BTW, P&A, Paul Krugman is a neo-Keynesian dinosaur — what else would he have to say about (semi) free market conservatives?!

  53. randal 53

    gee g…that little gem is so insightful I am overhwelmed with your intellectual brilliance. so I guess you are not in the party of the ‘stupid’. well if you are so clever then why is natoinal not in government now and why are they going to lose this election?

  54. RedLogix 54

    Coge,

    Anybody here ever done an adequate job insulating an old house?
    Yes. Many times.

    It pretty much involves gutting & re-jibbing the whole building.
    Often that is a good approach, especially if the existing linings are in poor condition, but there are good alternatives involving drilling and spraying insulation into the cavity, without gutting the house.

    If possible to access the underfloor area do that as well.

    The existing schemes include this as a matter of course.

    Double glazing is also required.

    Actually and surprisingly enough the answer to this is …not necessarily. Research done in NZ (by Otago University) has shown that retrofitting double glazing is a rather poor return for money.

    For safety reasons it may also be necessary to undertake re-wiring while your at it.

    This is often true… I’ve actually been in this situation just recently. But if it needs doing, then hell it needs doing regardless of whether the house is being insulated or not.

  55. G 55

    Red: “… What for example, if in your hypothetical libertarian world, a large group of people wanted to form a socialist society? Would you then, in order to defend your utopia, be compelled to decalre their ambitions illegal?”

    If we had a constitution that protected the rights of EVERY individual, then the moment these creeps made certain citizens more equal than others they would be acting outside of the law. Sadly they’re the ones in power and it is they who declare libertarian ambitions — of free speech and the like — illegal.

  56. RedLogix 56

    So you would deny the right of individuals to form a social collective that served their needs. Interesting.

    So I take that you would not be very keen on say…trade unions… then?

  57. G 57

    Red: “… Besides, libertarians would coerce other people all the time only they politely call that ‘freedom of contract’.”

    Do you mean to say that you object to being held to a contract?

  58. Felix 58

    Your free speech been under threat lately G?

    I mean in reality, an actual, tangible experience. Something that has actually happened that you can tell us about.

  59. G 59

    Red: “So you would deny the right of individuals to form a social collective that served their needs. Interesting.”

    Collectivism seeks to END individualism. In a libertarian world if a group wanted to bind themselves to a brotherhood they would have every right as a collective of individuals. They may not, however, decide to bind others who choose not to be chained in such a manner.

    “So I take that you would not be very keen on say trade unions then?”

    Unions are the prerogative of the employees. If they choose to strike they have every right — as much as the employer should be afforded the right to hire others to fill their rolls and continue the enterprise he built and financed.

  60. lprent 60

    G: The problem is that most really simple social structures are just too damn easy to shift to depositism. If you ever have a close look at ‘primitive’ societies you see that they are usually excessively complex for the functions they’re performing. It makes them relatively stable. That is also how modern societies operate.

    Most of the people who profess either anarchism or libertarianism are in fact trying to get simpler societies where the rights of the individual are more pronounced than the societies. This also means that there are fewer coalitions to resist against attempts to subvert the society for one reason or another. They tend to fall far to easily to extremism, usually in times of crisis. Alternatively they fall into stasis and die when the environment changes.

    Or to put it another way, both philosophies are just too simple and designed for the simple to understand. I prefer our more complex societies to allow room for the freedom of choice.

    I’d also suspect I’ve been thinking about this topic for far longer than you. It may be hard to bring you up to speed.

  61. RedLogix 61

    Do you mean to say that you object to being held to a contract?

    Never heard of coercive, exploitative or deceptive practice? Of course the usual libertarian answer to that is the individual is always free to move on to another contract that suits them better. (Assuming of course that the existing contract can be effectively terminated, and another better contract is on offer.)

    But of course when us socialists suggest that you libertarians are totally free to leave this little socialist suckhole of NZ, and start your own small govt paradise somewhere elsewhere (like Somalia)… you seem to get all sniffy.

  62. To throw some hard data into the mix: Chapman, et. al. “Retrofitting houses with insulation: a cost-benefit analysis of a randomised community trial” shows that the NPV of insulation is around twice the upfront cost, and that most of that comes from health benefits (which are incompletely measured). Or there’s Howden-Chapman et. al. (2007), which showed that installing insulation led to better self-reported health, fewer GP visits, and a possible downward trend in hospital admissions.

    The household fund is an investment which will make us all better off in the long term. but National would rather give money to its rich mates than invest in the health and wellbeing of ordinary kiwis.

  63. G 63

    Yes, Felix, but I’d get myself into a whole heap of trouble if I divulged my identity and what I was doing.

  64. RedLogix 64

    as much as the employer should be afforded the right to hire others to fill their rolls and continue the enterprise he built and financed.

    So now we have an economic climate in which it is very much in the interests of employers to have high unemployment and a large pool of people desperate enough to take on any “role” at any price.

    Sound familiar?

  65. G 65

    Iprent, you need to get up to speed: for the last 100 years your Keynesian complexity has strangled one economy after another with it’s wretched red tape. For the clearest example I present you the ugly experiment of former East & West Germanys: the half that produced more in every aspect of human endeavour, from the sciences to the arts, was the one with the most economic freedom.

  66. Quoth the Raven 66

    Postitive and Ambitious – Exactly, the nobel prize winner in economics, puts a lot of the blame for the current financial situation on the bush administration.

    From Larvatus
    “What conservatives can’t point to, ultimately, is any form of regulation that actually caused the crisis. No one put a gun to the head of US bank executives and made them lend to people without the means to repay loans. No one threatened dire retribution to investment bankers unless they packaged sub-prime securities. And no one compelled Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s to inexplicably and wholly irresponsibly rate those securities at AAA levels even when they didn’t understand the packaging mechanisms being used.”

    Lprent – Do you mean the science ficiton writer Heinlein or someone else because you can’t lump that Heinlein with Rand. Heinlein was a socialist for a time, a member of various socialist organizations.

  67. G 67

    Coercive, exploitative or deceptive practices, Red? Examples please.

  68. coge 68

    Redlogix, I would also suggest large high quality thermal drapes as an alternative to double glazing.
    My point is though for any Govt scheme to be effective it must have an overall view as to it’s usefulness, or you may as well leave your doors open. Broad brushed approches, as you would know, will not work well as every building has it’s unique needs. Depending on design, age, location & how well it has been maintained. It’s pointless doing the underfloor alone if you can’t complete the rest.

  69. randal 69

    gee you sound like a rich idiot but I bet you dont have any money…just a wannabee

  70. insider 70

    Red /coge

    I think you are correct about the value of dg – but it is great for stopping wind noise. Makes you wonder why the govt has made double glazing mandatory for all new building and renovations? It is pure ideology that’s why

    I/S

    The Chapman paper shows that the much vaunted energy saving benefits – the principal justification for the efficiency programme – are false and that it can only be justified by incorporating much harder to quantify health benefits. They spent $1800 to save 530kwh of power worth $120. It’s blindingly obvious this doesn’t stack up financially on energy grounds, just like solar doesn;t, just like biofuels, just like the new home insulation rules. If the primary benefit is actually health then be honest and fund it from the health budget.

  71. RedLogix 71

    Coge,

    as every building has it’s unique needs.

    Agreed. This is one of the things EECA has been getting better at, but in general the broad brush approach does move things along.

    A typical contractor will do the ceiling to at least R3.3, and the floors to R2.7, along with other minor items like HWC wrapping and draftproofing. It’s not a complete solution, but it gets 70-80% of the way there.

    Whatever cash the householder has saved via the govt subsidy is then freed up to be spent on more specific items like good thermal drapes that the scheme does not cover.

  72. RedLogix 72

    They spent $1800 to save 530kwh of power worth $120.

    The spend was just once… the saving was each year and every year in an environment where energy costs are rising much faster than general inflation.

    Yup the payback periods are long, but the life of the building is far longer. The problem is of course that the average home is sold in NZ every 5 years or so, which means that individuals often struggle to justify the investment… they may never own the home long enough to see a payback.

    But we act to solve this problem as a collective society, and over time we suceed in properly insulating ALL homes to a decent standard… then we ALL get to participate in the payback.

  73. Felix 73

    Stay in your paranoid fantasy then G.

    It’s best for all of us really – you don’t have to front up with facts and no-one else has to take you at all seriously.

  74. lprent 74

    Quoth: Heinlein – Yep I do (and I might add I have all his books in my rather extensive library of science fiction – they’re still great to read).

    He did have a preference towards a pioneer libertarian bent in a lot of his books. But as you say he was rather catholic in his political preferences. Shows up in things like The Man Who Sold the Moon, Time Enough for Love, etc.

    The best depiction of the attitude was actually in one of John Varley’s books about a political group of Heinlenists…. Good book (and I’m damned if I can remember the title). I run across people thinking like that periodically and I tend to class then as Heinlenists these days.

    But that is because I’m still a science fiction nutter (and history and computers and politics and…..) Oh hell I’m just a nutter – but a well informed nutter.

  75. RedLogix 75

    My favourite was “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. Rollicking yarn in classic hard sf style. Still recall reading it as a teenager.

    Currently reading Vernor Vinge’s “Rainbows End”… obviously I haven’t grown out of the genre. 🙂

  76. Draco T Bastard 76

    For the clearest example I present you the ugly experiment of former East & West Germanys: the half that produced more in every aspect of human endeavour, from the sciences to the arts, was the one with the most economic freedom.

    And was also a socialist state while the other was an oppressive dictatorship.

    G, You’re under the illusion that socialism doesn’t allow freedom whereas the opposite is true. It’s far more free than your libertarian fantasy.

  77. lprent 77

    Red: That is mine as well. I’ve worn out 2 copies of that already from occasional rereading

    I haven’t been buying books for a year. A wee budget crisis due to paying to get my leaky apartment block fixed. However there a quite a few thousand SF to reread when I get tired of coding, politics, etc…

    Helps keep the mind in trim for thinking long-term, because that is what the SF is designed to help with. It is pretty obvious that some of the National MP’s (and their supporters) could do with some mandatory reeducation to help them to think past the short-term. They sure as hell don’t think long term – forced reading of SF would probably help.

    Hah – back on topic…..

  78. Quoth the Raven 78

    lprent – I’m grokking what you’re saying. I haven’t read as much of Heinlein as you, always more of a Frank Herbert and Philip K. Dick fan myself. I think they’re better writers. The big three to me weren’t really that great, but I do enjoy some of Heinlein’s work. For a story with a more of a left bent I suggest you trawl through your collection and find the short story, “The Logic of Empire.”

  79. Better Dead Than Red 79

    “the nobel prize winner in economics, puts a lot of the blame for the current financial situation on the bush administration. ”

    Thereby totally devaluing the Nobel Prize to a piece of politicised crap. Not that it matters much, it’s been worthless since the political charlatan Gore won it. Leftists pursuing power will eventually ruin everything that ever amounted to something.

  80. G 80

    “G, You’re under the illusion that socialism doesn’t allow freedom whereas the opposite is true. It’s far more free than your libertarian fantasy.”

    HAHAHA!!! Oh my word… now I’ve heard it all! 😀

    The point is economic freedom, Bastard. If you want an even more defined contrast I present you West Germany and the USA, which in the last century has produced more in every field of human achievement than all your sorry-assed socialist states put together!! 🙂

  81. It’s entertaining to see the right hypocritically opposing a scheme that would actually result in less government spending. Is it the thought of the poor having a better quality of life, or the fact that the greens/left came up with the idea which causes you oppose it?

    BDTR, this is the question you must answer.

    Spending $1b to save $2b. But you oppose that on ideological grounds. You say it shoudln’t happen because it’s socialism, I say it’s a waste of $1b if the government doesnt.

    Why do you have such a problem with reality and the figures that objectively represent what it happening in New Zealand?

    The insulating plan would be great for the construction industry, I know in Wellington at the moment there is a massive surplus in workers (more so in Wellington for reasons unrelated too the market crash), and im assuming its a similar state around the country.

  82. Draco T Bastard 82

    The point is economic freedom,

    There are two essential freedoms in regards to economics (a rather narrow view of freedom you have there G but never mind).

    1.) The freedom to fail
    2.) Access to resources.

    Both of which are non-existent in libertarianism except to the rich few. If someone on $30k/year in a libertarian society fails they lose their home, car, etc, etc. This couldn’t be considered freedom as they would be chained to the job that they have at a subsistence level. This leads into the second freedom I mention. Someone in that situation is highly unlikely to gain access to the resources they need to even be able to try doing something other than what they are. They certainly won’t have access to higher education or to start their own business.

    If you want an even more defined contrast I present you West Germany and the USA, which in the last century has produced more in every field of human achievement than all your sorry-assed socialist states put together!!

    Go study economic history in regards to that. It’s quite interesting as you’ll find that the progress made by the USA after the 1950s was funded by those socialist states – especially after the US dropped the Gold Standard in 1970s. You’ll also find that it was done through government funding (borrowing) and not through the free-market. The USA has been a net debtor for quite some time. They started turning this around a bit under Clinton but then they voted in the neo-conservatives with their neo-liberal policies and have since become the worlds biggest debtor. Not to mention that their entire financial system just collapsed.

  83. Better Dead Than Red 83

    “Why do you have such a problem with reality and the figures that objectively represent what it happening in New Zealand?”

    If it was in reality a good idea, and a sound investment that would save people money- THEY’D ALREADY BE DOING IT FOR CHRISSAKES..!!! That gummint has to steal your money, and spend it on your behalf, suggests its not as good an investment as they say it is.

    [lprent: interesting I wonder what trap you hit that time? Oh mis-spelling government… 😈 ]

  84. randal 84

    the gummint printed the money so its theirs and always will be. a note is only a note. go down to the west coast and dig some gold if you want your own money. hmmmmmmm. ifyou were dead then you wouldnt complain about things you can do nothing about and dont mean anything anyway. are you perhaps just a muddle headed contrarian?

  85. milo 85

    So I looked at the article on insulation cost savings that Norightturn linked to. The study used a skewed sample of households with respiratory problems, and the cost savings were almost entirely in the 65+ age group, almost all driven by reduced hospital admission for people with respiratory problems.

    There are about 50-60,000 pensioner households in New Zealand. At 2,000 a household (yes, lets include them all, even the already insulated ones) that justifies expenditure of about $100 million.

    So what’s the other $900m? A feelgood factor?

    And if norightturn is going to use such abusive rhetoric, he should read his material a bit more closely so he doesn’t wind up looking like such an … er … idiot.

  86. milo 86

    And I should read a bit closer too ! My source for 50-60,000 pensioner households seems wrong. There are probably at least 4 times that number. Still, assuming half are already insulated, we still only get about $200,000 in justified expenditure.

  87. milo 87

    I mean $200,000,000. Still leave $800,000,000 of very low value payoffs. Jeez, I wish The Standard had an edit function (apologies).

  88. randal 88

    soory but off topic…now on tv1….John Keys is a rude prick

  89. “If it was in reality a good idea, and a sound investment that would save people money- THEY’D ALREADY BE DOING IT FOR CHRISSAKES..!!! That gummint has to steal your money, and spend it on your behalf, suggests its not as good an investment as they say it is.”

    Primarily its been explained above why it should be done through the government, but there’s also a problem of some peoples short sightedness. If it were set up as “you bring the receipts in from insulating your house, and we will give you twice that amount back out of the health budget” then I’m sure heaps of people would be doing so, its not done like that how ever, that’s why the government should be running a program to do it.

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