84 thoughts on “General debate, October 13, 2012

  1. THANK you :-)

    [frog: Sorry BJ, I was a bit preoccupied and forgot to post one last weekend]

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  2. Phil took no prisoners – why doesn’t he comment here any longer?
    I must have missed some drama or other (because doubtless there was drama!)

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  3. Russel’s idea of targeted QE puts him in good company with both Steve Keen and the late Howard Zin, it’s a pity that the national media didn’t pick up on the targeting feature. But to properly evaluate his proposal it needs to be considered in a much wider context, namely, why is the exchange rate allowed to reach and remain at such a high level.

    Ever since a cabal of middle aged white males engaged in institutional capture and imposed a neo-liberal economic agenda (Rogernomics) onto NZ successive governments have sought, deliberately, to destroy the fledgeling NZ industrial base leaving us as little more than an agrarian society. They have done this by progressively dismantling the welfare system, gutting the unions, financial deregulation and taxation restructuring, privatization, engaging in free trade deals under the guise of comparative advantage, downsizing the public service and imposing a commercial model on those public institutions that can’t readily be privatized.

    This is why Labour never fully repealed the Employment Contracts Act, merely tinkered with it to placate a gelded union rump; the NACTs discarded the R&D tax breaks, deride QE; pay lip service to child poverty; deny the reality of climate change. And they both deny ignore resource depletion.

    Among the consequences of these policies are: rising unemployment, increasing inequality and poverty, emigration of both skilled labour and profitable enterprises, spiralling current account deficit, increased criminality, all predicted by Wolf Rosenberg back in 1986. Most of these untoward consequences occur through the mediation of a naive and inappropriate application of “comparative advantage”. Ricardo’s original formulation of “comparative advantage” was designed for an industrial power with a large colonial empire and was unashamedly class oriented; a detailed analysis of the fallacies and untoward consequences can be found here:

    http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue55/Fletcher55.pdf

    The underlying motive can be summarised as the goal of establishing a latter day version of Edward Gibbon Wakefield’s dream of an antipodean paradise for landed gentry; a similar dream is ensconced in the US constitution (read the Madison Papers). The NACTs had the support of the farmers who were eventually pushed aside by the financial elite who seek a commercial version of Wakefield’s dream. Neither farmers nor financiers want a vigorous industrial sector that would threaten their dominance; this is because innovation, growth and wealth come almost entirely from manufacturing industry. Primary produce is a dead end industry with pitifully few innovations to its credit while financial innovation stopped with double digit bookkeeping and compound interest, all else is sleight of numbers.

    P.S. Big Bro is also missing.

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  4. I suspect Phil lost his eclipses as doesn’t feel comfortable commenting without them…

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  5. Micheala,

    Is there anything that middle aged white males are not responsible for?

    Talk about pidgeon holing a problem and placing blame at anyone but yourself.

    Agree with your argument but to sheet the blame home to a single group (you left out the angry part) is escapism.

    The instigators and the solutions lie in the mirror you look into everyday, namely yourself.

    For you as the individual are not able to join others and collectively offer an alternative view point, expressed strong enough the sway many generations of multi hued voters. Shows weakness of your argument if you blame others.

    The Greens QE would have gone done much better, in terms of public acceptance, if the method to extract the printed money from the economy, after its good deeds were done, was explained. Sadly this did not happen hence the “printed money” scenario prevailed.

    Marketing failure by Russel.

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  6. greenfly,

    I for one dont miss PhilU. He got to be a very angry, bitter and abusive at the end of his commenting days.

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  7. Jesson (1999. Only their purpose is mad. p13.ff) quotes Don Brash, the then Reserve Bank Governor:

    “The economic debate brought together a small but strategically influential team of civil servants, think tankers, policy makers and politicians around Roger Douglas. This group of quite remarkable people understood clearly what needed to be done and was committed to seeing it through”. Jesson goes on to note that his group included “the inner circle of the Business Round Table: Gibbs, Myers, Fay, Richwhite, Trotter etc. These people are indiscriminate in their taste in political parties but single minded in their ideology. They will fund any party that will further their New Right agenda.”

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  8. Anger and bitterness tend to turn oneś insides to charcoal, but humour, otoh, replenishes dry souls. Perhaps Phil hadnt struck the right balance between the two?
    Who knows? I dont.

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  9. Micheala,

    Each man you mentioned has one vote, just like you.

    Just like you, they have the ability to organise a collective to present a view point.

    Why did the Labour party jump to the perceived “middle aged white men” view point and not to yours?

    Again the anser lies in the mirror.

    Secondly, was the influence of that group of men their skin colour, age and gender? Or the money they represented that beguiled the Labour party?

    Why did the Labour party listen to them and not your collective?

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  10. Ever since a cabal of middle aged white males engaged in institutional capture and imposed a neo-liberal economic agenda (Rogernomics) onto NZ……

    Ruth Richardson was a white middle class male? Well I never!!

    I think Michaela may have a serious misandry problem.

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  11. Gerrit – I for one take Michaela’s point as quite true.

    Historically it was not women who controlled the government, ran for office, became leaders. Historically it was in FACT middle aged white men. Exceptions to all rules exist… but the further back one looks the more it is this single class has dominated the last 3-5 centuries.

    I don’t however, think that it was as well planned as all that. Not sure that it was so organized as a “cabal”… :-)

    The result however, is quite the same. Her points are sharply made.

    Just like you, they have the ability to organise a collective to present a view point.

    Unlike me, they have the money to organize PR campaigns to convince people that white is black and freedom is slavery. They have because of that money, more ability to make themselves heard and are given more credibility by a credulous 4th estate. It is not their votes but their ability to buy TV time and columns of print, to hire and fire and alter the financial realities of hundreds of other people. Really Gerrit.

    … and their ability to lie is almost certainly more well developed than yours or mine.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1993-06-06/features/9306060058_1_deception-adult-leadership

    BJ

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  12. Jackal “There are none so blind as those who choose not to see…”

    So true. You DID read what he actually wrote didn’t you?

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  13. I hope the Greens will be calling for an urgent enquiry into Police brutality on Monday following the peaceful “occupation” of a driveway and the excessive police response.

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  14. @OneTrack 5:16 PM

    You DID read what he actually wrote didn’t you?

    What Roughan wrote is full of anecdotal stuff, speculation, and appeal to prejudice.

    And he is dismissive of academics who actually do the research and crunch the numbers on child poverty as “interested in statistical abstractions and blanket solutions such as paying a benefit for young children to all parents, rich or poor, increases in family tax allowances and free meals in low decile schools.”

    I say trust the statistics provided by the social scientists who are qualified in this area, not the appeal to bigotry of someone like Roughan who gets paid big bucks to help sell a newspaper.

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  15. What Roughan wrote is full of anecdotal stuff, speculation, and appeal to prejudice.

    How so? it seems to me that he is simply revealing those who are truly “pre judging” this issue.

    And he is dismissive of academics who actually do the research and crunch the numbers on child poverty as “interested in statistical abstractions and blanket solutions such as paying a benefit for young children to all parents, rich or poor, increases in family tax allowances and free meals in low decile schools.”

    But that’s exactly what is happening Toad!

    I say trust the statistics provided by the social scientists who are qualified in this area, not the appeal to bigotry of someone like Roughan who gets paid big bucks to help sell a newspaper.

    Good grief.

    I would suggest a round of “spot the ideologue” but no one likes shooting fish in a barrel :(

    As someone who is currently riddled with poverty (by the definition of Toads “social scientists”), I can certainly say life could be a hell of a lot worse.

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  16. BJ

    So both you and Micheala are victims?

    Unable to organise?

    Did you learn nothing from the MMP debate (both the initial and the second one). Big money did not buy the outcome.

    People got organised, they did not remain victims.

    That is the difference.

    But if it suits to have white, middle aged, men to blame, go ahead blame them.

    Sure means you are not getting organised and they have effectively won.

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  17. I think suggesting that schools could spend their education funding on feeding children, so there was no need for government to provide any money for this, was pre judging the issue – going into the debate to support Key’s government lack of response to child poverty.

    The difficulty for women in being mothers and also climbing the corporate ladder are well known, this includes being represented in parliament – particularly in the National Party.

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  18. Gerrit

    Let me ask you to what degree you, while working a full time job and caring for a family, could go ahead and organize something political and unrelated to either.

    These guys pick up the phone and 10 other people organize for them.

    Money doesn’t always win, never did. If the people have enough knowledge and experience of something it is damned hard to sell the lies… and the opposition to MMP wasn’t that organized or wealthy or even dedicated. Everyone could see it working.

    When the economy is however, already broken badly, then it is every idea for itself… and nobody really has any experience with a working system.

    I think overall that you aren’t being fair to Michaela. I think too, that you aren’t being realistic about the power of normal folks to take on issues like this. Who knew to oppose them THEN? We know what they were now… in hindsight. Heckfire… I wasn’t even here… but I have to live with the mess they made.

    BJ

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  19. BJ,

    You still got the wrong end of the stick. The “cabal of middle aged white men” did not decide anything.

    They lobbied the government of the day and persuaded them to make decisions the “cabal of middle aged white men” wanted.

    The government is the decision maker, not the “cabal of middle aged white men”.

    Who was the government? Labour.

    The question remains, why did the Labour party listen to the “cabal of middle aged white men” and not someone else like yourself or Michaela?

    Money?? That would make them corrupt. No, I dont think Labour is corrupt.

    So why did the decision makers listen to one side and not the other?

    They had access to their membership and the “cabal of middle aged white men” for guiding their decision.

    Currrently we have the Labour party beholding to a few unions that contribute huge sums of money to the cause. Should the parliamentary Labour listen to the “cabal of trade union organisers” a the expense of their members?

    My point remains, it is easy to create a demon to fixate your fears onto. Simply so as to not face reality in that the then Labour party “sold out” to one faction, at the expense of another.

    Remember where the power lies to make yea or nay decisions.

    Directly at the feet of the parliamentary party. Not with the “cabal of middle aged white men” or the “cabal of trade union organisers”.

    Hopefully the Greens are not beholding to a lobby group like “Greenpeace” or “Forest and Bird” or the “Australian Socialist Workers Party”.

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  20. The difficulty for women in being mothers and also climbing the corporate ladder are well known, this includes being represented in parliament – particularly in the National Party.

    Yeah!, first woman Prime minister in NZ would never have come from the National party!

    Are you guys based in the USA? because your activism is so blind blinkered and so astoundingly ignorant of even recent history it would have to be something like that, is frogblog a subsidiary of the ACLU??

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  21. So your response to the fact that few women succeed in the corporate world or get into paraliament, is to say some do, so there is no male dominance.

    It’s like responding to a fact with an anecdote, its from some world where no social policy research is useful, only cursory knowledge about someone else on welfare.

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  22. Gerrit, how many institutions at the time (1980’s) were headed by women? The business world, the bureacratic world and parliament were dominated by men.

    The problem was that political management of the economy was discredited by Muldoon, and the only western alternative was the unfettered free market championed by the political right.

    In dismantling the Muldoonist legacy (actually the legacy of Labour and National mixed economy compromise that had become a fiefdom of an autocratic era with the PM also Finance Minister), the Labour group was dependent on expertise from bureaucrats and acceptance from the private institutions – the only opposition they could manage was that from unions and from the left. Only Labour could end the mixed economy consensus, because there would be no opposition from the right. If Labour sold this as a progressive reform out of Muldoonism, then unions and the left would fail to perceive what was happening until it was too late. One cover story was that there was no alternative (in the West), so they had to … .

    The great irony, was that the myth that we stood up to the Americans, when really we abandoned a sovereign economic policy and became a branch of free market globalisation.

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  23. Has nothing to do with ignoring the sellout of the labour idjits of the day Gerrit.

    Consider the straits the economy was in, and the inexperience in dealing with such a mess. The crisis was ripe for those lobbying for this change to use it, the “Shock Doctrine” had yet to be written, but it was certainly used.

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  24. So your response to the fact that few women succeed in the corporate world or get into paraliament, is to say some do, so there is no male dominance.

    Response to the fact?? well there’s an anecdote right there! you’re like someone that just stepped out of a time machine from the 50’s.

    It’s like responding to a fact with an anecdote,

    Like you just did?

    its from some world where no social policy research is useful,

    You roundly and routinely ignore legitimate research (like the research that conclusively proved that smacking isn’t harmful to children). You would make a good cherry picker!

    only cursory knowledge about someone else on welfare.

    The only people here that have “cursory knowledge about someone else on welfare” are the likes of yourself and the green elite that live safely away from “the noble poor”. 13 years I have lived in and raised a family in a low socioeconomic area, and that is long enough to call bullshit on the astonishingly ignorant and idealist crap that is portrayed here as “solutions to poverty”.

    Have another glass of chardonnay and STFU, while those of us in the real world will look for REAL solutions.

    The political left are so out of touch it hurts, all you can do is cut n paste ill fitting activism that belongs firmly in the USA.

    Why don’t you go and live over there where you might actually do some good? instead of robbing our nation of the progress it has made because you can’t bear the thought of lowering your ‘weapon’.

    I have never been more convinced about anything in my life.

    National are predictably heading off too far to the right, which is depressing enough, but by crikey are the left stubbornly refusing to understand why and come up with anything compelling.

    They seem almost completely incapable of the required humility to learn and to lead.

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  25. SPC,

    Gerrit, how many institutions at the time (1980′s) were headed by women? The business world, the bureacratic world and parliament were dominated by men.

    If you read back to Micheala second comment, she claimed that “a cabal of white middle aged men” bought the Labour party

    Jesson goes on to note that his group included “the inner circle of the Business Round Table: Gibbs, Myers, Fay, Richwhite, Trotter etc. These people are indiscriminate in their taste in political parties but single minded in their ideology. They will fund any party that will further their New Right agenda.”

    My question is skin colour, age and gender neutral (A young Helen Clark was a member of the Labour parliamentary wing at the time – but she was white, yes) Why did the Labour party “sell out” to a bunch of “rich men” from the business round table?

    Remembering that these men had one vote each just like you and me. And like you and me and Micheala and BJ, able to individually form a collective to lobby the parliament.

    The fixation of the anger against neo-liberal should not be laid at the lobbyist feet, but squarely at the feet of the representatives with the will power to say yes or no.

    The men dominated Labour party in the 1980 morphed into the female dominated Labour party of the 90 and 00. Did anything change?

    No.

    So why the fixation on “middle aged white men”?

    Nice pidgeon hole to fixate your anger on, but totally wrong as the decision making lies with parliament. Not the “middle aged white men” of the business round table.

    Hence we ALL need to be in the ear of our representatives and join political parties to try and get the list MPs to listen to its members.

    Something many New Zealanders simply dont do. Much easier to become a victim and lay the blame of society’s ill on “a cabal of middle aged white men”.

    Much harder to actively get involved.

    Maybe it is a neo-liberal mission to have the masses declaw themselves so effectively that they can no longer figure out who the decision makers are.

    In that case, having the masses wrongly looking and blaming “the cabal of middle aged, white men” leaves the decision makers free to do what they like.

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  26. Gerrit

    You are confusing two conditions

    This –

    Something many New Zealanders simply dont do. Much easier to become a victim and lay the blame of society’s ill on “a cabal of middle aged white men”.

    I agree with completely. The considerable apathy, lack of willingness to do anything and lack of belief in themselves with respect to politics or policies, that I encounter when I am out there discussing things with people trying to get them to sign the assets referendum is quite real.

    No doubt it has been a long time making but that long time includes both parties ignoring the people considerably, except at election time. I often think that advocates of direct democracy have a point in that, and I often think that there is no way in hell anyone should be an MP for more than 6 – 9 years.

    However, that does NOT excuse the people who pushed that neo-conservative ideology on this country. Nor is it any less accurate a description of them. Nor was their power the same as ordinary people’s in that day.

    You think I care which party was theoretically holding the reins Gerrit? Try to recall that I have never voted labour, nor was I even here at the time. I don’t have a brief to defend THEM, don’t care… but I do very well understand the power and privilege conferred by wealth.

    …coming from the USA where the cost of the election is apt to be something like $6 billion and the “wealth” party owns both of the advertised major parties. Bought them in the mid-seventies during a financial crisis. Here it is a LITTLE different, but not much.

    “Shock Doctrine” politics… and people are hurting not much less.

    We have a very small window to avoid going the same way as the US did.

    why did the Labour party listen to the “cabal of middle aged white men” and not someone else like yourself or Michaela?

    I suspect you’d need to ask SPC – that explanation seems to be pretty clear.

    Shock doctrine allows people to be persuaded to give up freedoms and embrace whatever answer is promoted. The shock was provided by the banks IIRC, and the notion that we were “bankrupt”… coming at the heels of the closing of the British market. The promotion was done by the wealthy people of the day… who happened to be as described.

    “Maybe it is a neo-liberal mission to have the masses declaw themselves so effectively that they can no longer figure out who the decision makers are.”

    Well duh !

    … but that doesn’t make the effective “cabal” of the time any less effective. You really need to put it together Gerrit. You are looking at and responding to something that isn’t regarded as important by any of us… simply descriptive… and you are distracting us from the actual problem. Perhaps as you intend ?? :-)

    What is the problem I see?

    The disproportionate power of the wealthy in our democracies, which is in my opinion a result of the error of regarding advertising as being covered by “freedom of speech” with respect to elections. This power is more potent when the democracy is “shocked” by something.

    Canada has a more restrictive arrangement. I would go further still, because money works through every barrier, much as heat does, and to isolate the election from its influence is something that can only be managed for a short time with a heavy layer of insulation.

    Money shapes public opinion when the public has been appropriately “shocked”, and no political party in a democracy can or should ignore its democratic roots. Labour did what the paid for press persuaded the people had to be done…. and remember, there was NOT a working model of anything else available for anyone to point at.

    The importance of the destruction/discrediting of Muldoon by the bankers cannot be ignored as the actual start of the operation.

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  27. I’m bitterly disappointed with the responses to my original post. There I laid out baits for several important topics: the deliberate destruction of NZ’s industrial sector; the misapplication of “comparative advantage” (did anyone read the link that I gave?); the innovative dead-end nature of our primary sector; the reactionary motives of those who systematically perpetuate the destruction. And, tacitly, a request for ideas on how to restore our industrial sector to at least parity with the others, targeted QE being only one of the possible tools available.

    But what do I get? An incoherent rant about the state of my emotions regarding a trivial side issue plus a nitpicking gripe about a possible omission. If Gerrit is correct then I need to start wearing an aluminium helmet to prevent him reading my brain waves from a distance and Ruthy was only 31 when she first entered Parliament in 1981; she was certainly never a senior academic, senior public servant or a member of the Round Table during the period that the institutional capture took place.

    BJ, perhaps cabal was too strong a word. They were never secretive, they spoke openly and wrote openly about their wants; they could hardly be anything but with Bob Jones as point man. (Just read your latest. It’s pertinent but I’d like to read your notions about restoring our industry.)

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  28. And, tacitly, a request for ideas on how to restore our industrial sector to at least parity with the others

    Well that’s very simple Michaela, you do what they did and do it at the expense of the environment.

    I really don’t understand you at all, your solution is inevitably connected to more environmental destruction and unsustainable industry.

    So the answer is to pull the stings of a failed, destructive system? riightee ho then.

    Please don’t pretend to be environmentalists anymore.

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  29. No Shunda – sustainable industry has a lot more to do with sustainable energy than any other thing, and of that there is no real shortage of resource here in NZ. My post to Trevor suggests a massive improvement which we can make in terms of levelling the electrical supply from renewables. That would be an important factor in our ability to run industrials from renewable sources, and that ability is even more important for future generations than it is to us.

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  30. But BJ, the Greens shout down any and every proposed major renewable energy project! you yourself have said so many times.

    To me, it seems as though there’s a tremendous amount of confusion and perhaps dual agenda politics going on.

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  31. Michaela

    To be sure, neither Shunda nor Gerrit are actually Greens to my knowledge. I am. Greenfly is. Sprout is. Leastwise I am pretty sure they are. This is the open forum so a lot of folks come here who are merely kibitzing.

    My observations to Kennedy Graham about a month ago and often brought up here are relevant to the rest.

    The picture we are presented with has often been

    Environment – supporting a
    _____________

    Society – which builds an
    ______________

    Economy

    =====================================

    Often presented in the form of a set of circles.
    http://www.ozpolitic.com/articles/environment-society-economy.html

    These models are incorrect. The correct model (and the reason that nothing we do has any real long term effect, is

    Society – which is built on an
    ______________

    Economy – which uses the resources of the
    _____________

    Environment

    ===========================================

    There is no real influencing the environment directly, and economics has a lot more in common with thermodynamics than my simple declaration that money must equal “work done”. The result of this is that any distortion of the economy will damage the environment, and any attempt to preserve the environment HAS to work through the economic system.

    One has to TAX CO2 emissions.

    One has to TAX or FINE polluters.

    One has to enforce those things and there is much much more.

    Why is growth one of the sacraments of modern economics? What is it that requires not just to have industry but for industry to continually grow?

    Goes back to what I said about money being “work done”. It is, or it isn’t real money, just a debt instrument. Which is what every doller in every wallet in every pocket of every person in every country on this planet … is. Worse, every one of those dollars requires interest to be paid… which has to come from money that does not exist. We have to grow. It is built into our definition of money. It is built into the “fractional reserve” banking system which creates our money. It doesn’t have to be.

    Which is why we talk with and about Steve Keen, and my chats with Dr Norman lead us in the direction of coming up with our version of targeted QE and why we are talking about bringing the control of our money supply back inside government. Muldoon’s mistake wasn’t what everyone is taught here but that he failed to separate the monetary system from the foreign bankers first.

    http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/01/31/therovingcavaliersofcredit/

    Also consider his concept of a debt jubilee.

    So so so… MY version of the way to fix this is to do that first step, get the money supply into our own hands and change the definition of our money from a debt base to a full-reserve redeemable currency. It is to be redeemable in KWH of work delivered in NZ at predefined sites… (anywhere else cops a delivery fee). This money has demurrage attached to it, you can’t just bury it, it turns worthless if you do. You can “save” by putting it back into the issuing bank which is to say the treasury. Your account there is not however, a draft on demand arrangement. The limit on the supply is the renewable generation capacity of the country. This is not completely accurate, there are other types of work, but it is a good approximation.

    Add a CO2 Tax.

    Add a tariff based on CO2 usage by imported goods.

    The exchange of money for foreign gelt is going to change drastically as transferring money TO NZ will require transfer of energy, with discounts for the CO2 tax and other impediments. The speed-of-light arbitrage on which currency speculators depend, turns into a speed-of-ship transfer of bulk energy compounds.

    Stuff from outside the country becomes expensive. Stuff we build ourselves less so.

    That’s the END state. The trick is to get there without destroying everything and everyone. It is plain as dirt that we can’t do it all at once.

    However, once we have managed that we will in FACT have a far more rational monetary system and an ability to establish business that suffers only natural (slower than anyone is used to in the past century) rates of growth.

    That’s my story anyhow :-)

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  32. Shunda, it remains a fact that most MP’s are men, particularly in the National Party. Such a well known fact, is not an anecdote. The same applies to positions of leadership in the bureaucracy and the corporate world.

    Surprisingly you think the “anti-smacking” legislation is an example of not relying on the facts and blame the Greens or anyone supporting the Greens for this. The said legislation (private members bill) passed through parliament because of support from the leaders of the Labour (former) and National Party (current). The legislation is still in place. Apparently no one is being prosecuted merely for smacking children.

    Do you think that the legislation was useful in changing perceptions about the acceptability of violence towards children? The idea that people can commit violence against children in their care (because that is what happended to them) is one factor behind the difficulty of ending inter-generational abuse. Whether mere smacking alone was/is part of this problem is irrelevant, because other violence was being legitimised behind the cover of parental authority/discipline. And this is really what the legislation allowed better targeting of.

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  33. No Shunda… they have not done THAT badly. They do have issues with hydropower sometimes, but I think we can overcome that.

    The liquid-air tech is a way to store excess power and smooth loads, making wind + geothermal much much much more useful as a combo for the North Island. We have a lot of potential.

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  34. Straterra have released the results of their latest opinion poll and are using it to claim that most NZer’s support mineral exploitation & mining.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1210/S00515/straterra-overwhelming-kiwi-support-for-nz-mineral-industry.htm
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/business/230151/miners-cite-poll-results-support

    I can only find press releases from Staterra, nowhere does can I see the actual questions asked and whether there was any mention of emissions from fossil fuels in any of the questions .
    The ODT report says “Straterra wanted to put education programmes in place soon, it was about to enlarge its communications team in Wellington and had arranged a briefing for politicians next week, Mr Baker said.”
    Big propaganda exercise coming up & more info is needed to deal with it.

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  35. bjchip @12:19 – beg to differ but they HAVE done that badly. Any sort of power proposal including wind farms seems to have a Green or two against it. “Wind farms are good just not HERE”, etc.

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  36. michaela @9:48 – You should read your original post again because I dont get from it what you just said at all. All I got was something along the lines of “It is all old white pricks fault , wah wah”, etc. The only solution you seemed to be proposing was get rid of the old white pricks and we would be in nirvana (without any definition of what nirvana would actually be).

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  37. Good Lord!

    Thatś all I can say – Good Lord!!

    (from Kiwiblog)

    big bruv (10,749) Says:
    October 14th, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I was unsure about allowing gays to adopt, however having read the naked hatred and bigoted rant from the bible bashing Andrei I am now all in favour.

    Kids should be adopted out to the best available couples. That means that white couples should be allowed to adopt Maori babies and that gay couples (if they are the best available) should be allowed to adopt any child.

    We simply cannot allow religious bigots to force their stupid beliefs upon the rest of us.

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  38. Are you sure they’re members of the party One Track? I haven’t seen any of that here… nor is it party policy. I think you’d be pressed to find an example that turned out to be what you think it is.

    The hydro is a bit of work, but they’ll come around in time, or we won’t need to dam every damn thing. I still think we will, but there’s time for that and wind farms and storage to build.

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  39. Michaela’s original post was far clearer than that for me OneTrack.

    I suspect that the issue is with the way you and apparently Gerrit stopped processing after the words “cabal of middle aged white males”. The descriptor was and remains accurate except perhaps that a “cabal” is more organized than this really was…. perhaps. However, the words WERE descriptive, and the rest of what she said makes sense. SPC did a good job of explaining why.

    The ever increasing GINI and declines of industry and employment is a strong indication that we are on the WRONG track with this, and that neither Labour nor National have any clue how to change tracks. Since the mid-eighties it has been almost impossible for any New Zealander to conceive of actually using government as it MUST be used for this society to flourish.

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  40. bjchip 8:01 – ok, you might be right. I was thinking of the Lammermoor Range wind farm and my memory was that the Greens were against that as well. But a bit of searching doesnt back up my memory at all. I do hope they come around on the hydro thing though.

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  41. bjchip – 8:09 – We will have to disagree on that one :-) . I did read the post again before putting up my earlier comment being especially careful that that specific phrase didn’t put me off the rest of the content. The result was what I said.

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  42. I don’t recall any protests against any recent geothermal power station proposals recently, and a lot of wind power has been consented, so not all power proposals are opposed. And not all opposition is from Greens. Some people object simply because they would lose money on their property investments or due to other vested interests.

    Trevor.

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  43. greenfly

    Thatś all I can say – Good Lord!!

    Once in a blue moon the RWNJ’s can be reasonable… They try really hard not to make a habit of it.

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  44. BJ @12:19 – wind and geothermal can work together without adding any extra storage. All that is needed is to increase the amount of geothermal plant above the resource’s maximum continuous extraction rate, so not all of the plant can run all of the time. Then the geothermal plant can be wound back when demand falls and the wind picks up, and boosted up when the demand rises and the wind dies away. Since the energy is effectively being stored in its original form – hot rocks – there is little decrease in efficiency, unlike virtually all separate storage techniques.

    Trevor.

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  45. Trevor

    Yes, they complement already but I noticed the ability of that particular storage to use LOW grade heat sources to improve efficiency.. which led me to get more excited than usual. A lot of Geothermal isn’t really power grade heat… but as a storage enhancer… maybe. Hard to visualize the economics of the different options. I never studied geothermal that much and I only skimmed that storage idea…

    Other thing was that when you liquify air you can pull the CO2 out… which suggests additional storage and power options.

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  46. There is a place we belong, and that is in government. There is a place Key belongs, and that is in prison.

    Though the “take no prisoners” approach is also viscerally appealing.

    :-)

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  47. Jackal

    If NZ were to adopt a “maximum wage”, who do you thinng would be running all of our publicly traded and government owned enterprises and ministries?

    Generally, people with the skill to manage these enterprises aspire to a higher standard of living than others, and so they would look outside NZ for their employment.

    Please don’t imagine, even for a moment, that the people currently in place would stay in the event you $200,000 maximum income were to be legislated. They would be gone faster than a blink of your eye!

    Lets get real eh!

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  48. @dbuckley

    how about just a straight tithe on every transaction and make the government live within those means?

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  49. Dave @1226. Do you seriously think there are not people, currently earning less than 200k, who are more than capable of doing the jobs paying millions.

    Germany and Japan appear to have no problem getting competent managers despite much smaller gaps between management pay and that of the other staff.

    Never heard NZ firms complaining about lack of management staff. Most are complaining of lack of skilled workers. Not realising it is their own fault when they pay managers 100’s of thousands and expect highly skilled technicians, tradesmen and professionals to work for next to nothing.

    I have worked with more than a few highly paid management types. Most of them, there are a few notable exceptions, owe their jobs to the old boy network and successful brown-nosing/bullshitting. Certainly not knowledge or competence.

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2011/04/kia-ora-corporatism-and-neo-liberalism.html
    “How many times, within a company, when you want the person who get things done. You ignore the suits staring out the windows in the corner offices and talk to the person, usually a women, who actually does things. Normally someone several pay grades below the suits.
    Or when you are ordering something. The bright well dressed manager calls some wizened old guy from the shop floor to ask if it can be done.

    The corporations with the largest income gap between Directors/Managers and employees have proven to be the least functional”.

    Your average plumber has more business nous than most of them.

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  50. Most of them, there are a few notable exceptions, owe their jobs to the old boy network and successful brown-nosing/bullshitting. Certainly not knowledge or competence.

    Arises from the simple fact that every promotion is warranted till the last one. Managers are promoted to the level where their incompetence kicks in.

    Then the business is faced with the dilemma, how to get rid of managers that have risen to their level of incompetence.

    Most businesses tends to leave them with less and less responsibility till they leave, they are hard to fire.

    This is not new, I started work at the then New Zealand Railways where senior managers were, pretty well without exception, returned serviceman trust into jobs they were not trained for and where they rose to their level of incompetence and held that managerial position till retirement.

    Stiffeling any new staff in the process. As a 18 years old engineering student could stand it for only two years before getting out.

    Some very notable exceptions (especially POW returnees) but generally they held back a generation.

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  51. But the Peter Principle is not an excuse for paying people who have reached their incompetency, incredible incremental income. ;-)

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  52. BJ,

    Problem is how do you reduce their status, responsibilities and renumeration to their level of competance?

    Very hard to do for low and middle management. Even harder for senior management.

    Unless you, as the employer, want some trips to the employment court.

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  53. The plan was to not remunerate so bloody generously to start with. No?

    This is a problem in the boardrooms, not on the shop floors, not with the project managers at the coal face.

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  54. dave stringer

    If NZ were to adopt a “maximum wage”, who do you thinng would be running all of our publicly traded and government owned enterprises and ministries?

    Hopefully some people who are a lot more competent for starters.

    The previous Ministry of Social Development CEO, Peter Hughes was being paid between $530,000 and $539,000 in 2008. The current CEO, Brendan Boyle, will be getting a lot more now… And yet they did nothing about the huge breach in security that they were informed about.

    Debacles like that make it apparent CEO’s should be paid on how well they perform. The old boys club has got to go.

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  55. “Very hard to do for low and middle management. Even harder for senior management”.

    Don’t seem to have a problem doing it to everyone else.

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  56. The Greens should expand the focus of their human rights complaint re youth pay rates – the legislation states that there should not be discrimination against people “over 16″ based on age -such as in employment etc. It would therefore be counter-productive not to mention the 16 and 17 year old’s as well.

    As noted already, there is also discrimination based on employment status in youth rates for 18 and 19 year olds on benefits.

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  57. Try getting a decent drilling engineer or geologist for your thermal schemes when they can only earn a maximum of $200k.

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  58. Dave S:

    how about just a straight tithe on every transaction and make the government live within those means?

    This is a variation of a Tobin tax, so beloved by many here, but their love is for all the wrong reasons. Doesn’t mean that the principle of the tax is broken though.

    I’m beginning to think that replacing all taxes with a transaction tax might be a really smart thing to do.

    If you’ve got a good few hours to spare, then the full paper (289 pages) linked to this extract is worth a gander: Bank transactions: pathway to the single tax ideal A modern tax technology;the Brazilian experience with a bank transactions tax (1993-2007)

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  59. Spam – If we put a proper Carbon Tax on the extractive industries there would be quite a slackening in demand for really really expensive holes in the ground (and sometimes under the ocean) that lead to stuff that you can’t profitably burn.

    Try creating such a massive pay difference in a world that doesn’t have the massive economic distortion of the power generators being permitted to dump THEIR waste without paying for it, into the atmospheric commons. For that matter, and taking your word that the talented drilling engineers are in such demand (Maybe I should come out of retirement and retrain for it), that demand and the levels of remuneration you cite are also evidence of the oil being post-peak now. A losing game to pursue it. Some of us are smart enough not to…

    :-)

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  60. Noting something here… that I have often declaimed on the topic of getting work here in NZ by making us less dependent on foreign finance and more self-sufficient. I believe that firmly.

    OTOH, I should note that the complex systems and technologies that we now enjoy and depend on cannot ALL be built and maintained here. I believe that as well. Our most appropriate course seems to me to be basic self-sufficiency… with vertically integrated production of the things we DO produce and careful selection of those industries to ensure the preservation of what civilization we have as things collapse due to climate change.. and coordination with Australia on some of the things we do OR they do.

    Joe Romm’s rant (thanks for the link Tony) is no less than what I expect… except that I expect that there will not be BAU much longer.

    It won’t change as much as if we never do anything, it will change as much as it will if we do too little too late. Which is I strongly suspect, more than enough to bring down most of human civilization.

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  61. I suspect that no civilisation (characterised by cities that require the importation of almost all resources) is sustainable so it’s inevitable that this one will go away – not necessarily all at once, though climate change may have something to say about that. We should try to come to terms with that.

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  62. On the issue of the ETS – apparently the Europeans have over suppplied the world market to the point that the price of credits is $6 and our local value is much higher ($25). So companies are buying their credits on the world market at a very cheap price (for how long this will last is hard to say).

    Any effort to require they buy their credits locally would establish an effective carbon tax at the local value.

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  63. bj Referring Back to….”…considerable apathy…… in getting them to sign the assets (I’ve been off computer; then suddenly it’s on to power sources and climate-change!)
    Anyway, my question is: (relating to sources of “apathy”): Who believes the time is well overdue for having e-mail petitions circulating? – espec. for the many older (and younger?) who, for various reasons:- finances, disability, lack of affordable or local transport, time,commitments, do not get around much,or conduct or visit stalls, or maintain a large circle of friends – or for whatever other reasons, DO NOT HAVE A CHANCE to have their say, and contribute their vote or signature to the MANY vital issues at hand. It is VERY frustrating!!

    Asset sales; important issues to do with education; poverty; child health/ abuse; closer and closer ties with Ms Clinton!; Chch rebuild;e.g. the lack of consultation with the YOUNG – who will run the cities soon; animal abuse; … and so on and on. WE WOULD ALL LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE OUR SIGNATURES.,…….
    …even tho’, as happened with wanting more protection for Maui’s dolphins, the Govt. has ignored the 30,000 worldwide signatures. At least we tried, and at least those ‘leaders’ have been made aware of the people’s wishes!

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