15 Comments Posted

  1. …”so keep getting used to it”…what, your endless predicting? … I’m already used to it. Over it even 🙂

    Touche, Sir, a a fine catch 🙂

  2. Arana – The maths usually will work where we have the ability to actually produce what we consume, or have a local market despite our size. This is different by a lot, from the notion of making work for the sake of making work. Two or three areas come to mind. Furniture, because we’re exporting wood in the first place; Whiteware, because Fisher & Paykel was pretty much making a go of it until the dollar finally did them in; Railcars (though that’s low volume it doesn’t require resources and skills we lack)… I am sure there are more, maybe farm equipment… but the dollar is at a level that strangles our manufacturing efforts at birth.

    While Money represents “work done”, not all work done is of equal value. The example of one mob digging holes for the other to fill in is not the one to follow… and I can understand why many New Zealanders carry permanent scars from having seen that one acted out here. There is no argument that some really stupid things WERE done.

    Nor would I argue with the fact that tech is displacing workers.

    Still, there are always some low skilled, and usually more middle-skilled jobs with any industrial production, and while tech works to replace them the fact remains… there is no such thing as a post-industrial economy which consumes industrial products. We have to produce or we wind up in debt because of our consumption.

    The longer term problem of what we do when tech replaces everyone but the researchers, I don’t try to answer. It is a different problem. We do not have a social model or an economic model that deals with it at all. Nobody does.


  3. Have you ever tried to teach someone who was really, simply, stupid? I suggest you go back to the beginning and start over…

    Ever the charmer, eh BJ.

    The fact is that technology has replaced a lot of low skilled work. The genie is not going back in the bottle and some people will lose out if they don’t adapt. They’ll most likely end up in the modern equivalent to low-skilled factory work – low-skilled service work.

    It is useful to displace imports which reduces trade deficits

    Depends on the maths. Agreed if it is in an area where we can produce at the much the same total cost.

  4. …”so keep getting used to it”…what, your endless predicting?

    I’m already used to it. Over it even 🙂

    “In centerist politics the incumbent remains in power until they piss the electorate off so much that they just have to go.”

    I reckon you’re right. I reckon too, that National have reached that point. The most recent calls for bulk funding of schools will do it.
    And it wasn’t the suggestion about efficient shower heads that did it, it was the caterwauling from the right wing commentariat that whipped up the outrage.

  5. In centerist politics the incumbent remains in power until they piss the electorate off so much that they just have to go.

    The Clark government ended up just annoying people, with one of the last straws being the Green Party supported shower flow restriction.

    My (well repeated!) prediction is that JK will be in power until 2020, so keep getting used to it…

  6. I am at a loss to understand why so many kiwis voted in the last election for a National Party with no plans, a vision that was “a hope statement” and policies that were tried and rejected by governments both here and around the world, decades ago.

    Pushing mining was and still is, part of their policy, manufacturing was only ever part of their hope statement; and Kiwis bought it.

    Was Nats (minority) support due to more their saleable “policies” or was there a lack of alternatives from other parties? And from the result should we accept that the majority of kiwis are a pretty conservative bunch and will vote for what the know, even if they can’t remember the failure it was last time, rather than support something that’s new/novel or at least different.

    I don’t see manufacturing jobs increasing while the exchange rate is as volitile as it is and the government just sits on it’s hands ‘cos it can saying its the Reserve Banks job not theirs.

    There are currently plenty of jobs putting slops in the trough to keep National cronies in the money and their kids can buy jobs anytime they want. The Greens need to promote solutions that are better than National’s but not quite as “scary” (read novel), as maybe the ones suggested so far.

  7. Arana

    “It is useful to displace imports with reduces trade deficits”.

    … try considering the reason I ACTUALLY provided there.

    There is nothing in that statement that says, “do it the most inefficient way possible”. That’s a mistake made with Televisions 30 years ago, but learning the wrong lesson seems to be the norm for New Zealanders.

    Your lot seem to be real stubborn about not learning anything more since, and you’re big on social darwinism too, as that second appalling statement of yours indicates. Do we get to choose the abilities of our population?

    You’re big on consigning people to the welfare roles while you at the same time insist that they get into jobs that demand skills that they have not the abilities to retain. Have you ever tried to teach someone who was really, simply, stupid?

    I suggest you go back to the beginning and start over…

  8. Following that logic, we should all keep working down coal mines and plough fields with oxen. Hey – it’s labour intensive, so it must be good.

    Rather, we have no need for the unskilled. We have a lot of need for the skilled. We should focused on making the unskilled skilled.

  9. Arana – IF the alternative to “low value” manufacturing is importing those same products, we’ve screwed ourselves. Examine carefully how Ricardo actually defined his “comparative advantage and how countries were supposedly to adapt to having such a thing (where it exists).


    It is useful to displace imports which reduces trade deficits, and it employs people who are otherwise not employed. The issue is very simple, it is NOT all about how much profit we can get but also how much loss we avoid, as a country. An individual company cannot make this sort of arrangement though, it has to be done through the intervention of government.

    As such it is entirely impossible for New Zealanders to contemplate.

  10. I have to agree. It is not a surprise and those words or something very like them, have been on the lips and minds of more than a few of us.

  11. To be fair, this isn’t exactly a surprise. Search back through the blog for the phrase “the next Key led government will fuck us over more than any government in our history” and you’ll find a good few hits. Still on target to be in the big house to 2020.

    What does come as a surprise to me is the inconsistency. JK went into bat for the craftspeople of the film industry, and although these guys and gals are both skilled and well paid, it’s still “craftpeople”, blue collar rather than white, Levi rather than Giorgio Armani. Perhaps they were an accidental beneficiary of some greater plan.

  12. It is perfectly believable. It isn’t a crisis because they aren’t the owners of the National Party, the people losing their jobs are filthy unionists and the sooner the unions are broken the sooner the we can be given the next logical step, indentured servitude.

    When this country does finally recognize how thoroughly National has “done” it, Hawaii might not be far enough away for Key to be comfortable.

  13. So there are currently around 200,000 manufacturing jobs in NZ. From what the media are saying, 40,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last four years. So in just four years, manufacturing has shrunk by 15-20% and this isn’t considered a crisis? Unbelievable.

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