Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Key and the 'nesians

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  • Paul Campbell,

    yeah, I haven't seen them either, and I did leave the car in the street so they could work - maybe they'll get done today

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2152 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Although... I got a quotation in June (after requesting one in April) for fixing some broken roof tiles.

    After several visits over the months (starting in October) and ending (touch wood) yesterday, the roof is finally leak free! First time in years.

    Thanks National.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    i was just glad to make it past the guards loading public servants into railcars...

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    First they came for the communications managers...

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Have they not sold those railcars yet?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Have they not sold those railcars yet?

    i think it's a job lot. railcars and excess workers.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    First they came for the communications managers...

    I dunno... Amanda Binns, National supporter & HNZC communications manager (at one stage anyway), taking one for the team.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Newsprint,

    I dunno... Amanda Binns, National supporter & HNZC communications manager (at one stage anyway), taking one for the team.

    I'm thinking you could write a Master's thesis based on that photo...

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    amanda doesn't look like she works in one of the burgeoning online services comms teams.

    not enough armpit hair.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    RE: the New Deal and WWII

    Funnily enough, this is also the bit of Reaganomics that never seems to be mentioned...

    The massive post-70s-recession spending on the cold war, i.e. a gargantuan Keynesian knees-up for those in uniform. I seem to recall that it was second only to WWII as a US government borrow-and-hope programme.

    By the way, this observation (c) Carl Crowley 1988 -- not my own...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 987 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    not enough armpit hair.

    I do hope AManda never visits here, but you know, what struck me when I saw that photo was "She didn't used to be blonde."

    So maybe that explains the attention to grooming.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    burgeoning online services comms teams.

    This phenomenon deserves more attention. Such people tend to get lumped into the calculation when the "army of government spin doctors" gets counted, and yet that's really not a valid characterisation is it?

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Maybe I missed something, but to me the most obvious feature is that she's signalling she voted twice and is happy she got away with it?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    when the "army of government spin doctors" gets counted,

    Aside from the odd instance of crisis management (some agencies more prone to them than others), these "armies" exist to process the thousands of parliamentary questions & OIAs. The majority of which are irrelevant (if not incomprehensible) & designed to create a lot of unecessary work.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    Think Bigger?

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Apparently when FDR met Keynes he actually said something along the lines of "guy's a mathematician, not a politician"

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Maybe I missed something, but to me the most obvious feature is that she's signalling she voted twice and is happy she got away with it?

    Dude, you've been away too long. We all have two votes under MMP. One for each arm.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18883 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    i was just glad to make it past the guards loading public servants into railcars...

    On a related topic, how does redundancy work for the Ministerial staff who are now to be replaced? Is it redundancy with an associated package? And what about the MPs and/or Ministers themselves?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Terry Baucher,

    Krugman's blog has more on this including his calculation of the fiscal stimulus required US$600 billion. Wonder what the equivalent NZ figure would be - enough to induce a coronary in Douglas perhaps? ;)

    I wrote this morning’s column partly because I had a hunch that the Obama people might be thinking too small on stimulus. Now I have more than a hunch – I’ve heard an unreliable rumor! So let’s talk about stimulus math, as I see it.

    Actually, before I get to the math, some concepts. Nearly every forecast now says that, in the absence of strong policy action, real GDP will fall far below potential output in the near future. In normal times, that would be a reason to cut interest rates. But interest rates can’t be cut in any meaningful sense. Fiscal policy is the only game in town.

    Wait, there’s more. Ben Bernanke can’t push on a string – but he can pull, if necessary. Suppose fiscal policy ends up being too expansionary, so that real GDP “wants” to come in 2 percent above potential. In that case the Fed can tighten a bit, and no harm is done. But if fiscal policy is too contractionary, and real GDP comes in below potential, there’s no potential monetary offset. That means that fiscal policy should take risks in the direction of boldness.
    So what kinds of numbers are we talking about? GDP next year will be about $15 trillion, so 1% of GDP is $150 billion. The natural rate of unemployment is, say, 5% — maybe lower. Given Okun’s law, every excess point of unemployment above 5 means a 2% output gap.

    Right now, we’re at 6.5% unemployment and a 3% output gap – but those numbers are heading higher fast. Goldman predicts 8.5% unemployment, meaning a 7% output gap. That sounds reasonable to me.

    So we need a fiscal stimulus big enough to close a 7% output gap. Remember, if the stimulus is too big, it does much less harm than if it’s too small. What’s the multiplier? Better, we hope, than on the early-2008 package. But you’d be hard pressed to argue for an overall multiplier as high as 2.

    When I put all this together, I conclude that the stimulus package should be at least 4% of GDP, or $600 billion.

    That’s twice what the unreliable rumor says. So if there’s any truth to the rumor, my advice to the powers that be (or more accurately will be in a couple of months) is to think hard – you really, really don’t want to lowball this.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2008 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Fiscal policy is the only game in town.

    An issue we don't currently face in this economy.
    Unfortunately, my view is that monetary policy in this country is more loosely coupled to productive growth than it is in the US - it flows through to the consumptive sector more than productive investment.

    I hasten to add that this view is based solely on an overall impression of our economy, not any kind of solid research

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I'm thinking you could write a Master's thesis based on that photo...

    I did feel a little bit queasy on Monday when I first saw that photo. Isn't it good, though, that the Nats are now here to work for ordinary, decent, hard-working Kiwi battlers rather than the liberal latte-sipping elites? And there'll be no nanny state to take away our shower heads and Chanel handbags!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Terry Baucher,

    Funnily enough, this is also the bit of Reaganomics that never seems to be mentioned...

    The massive post-70s-recession spending on the cold war, i.e. a gargantuan Keynesian knees-up for those in uniform. I seem to recall that it was second only to WWII as a US government borrow-and-hope programme.

    You're quite right David it was a truly colossal spend up. We've actually had two wars this decade but unfortunately they've been the wrong sort of wars where the US can't deply massive amounts of tanks, warships and aircraft so the effect has been somewhat muted. Seems to me that if the US wants another big military spendup they should be winding up the Russians and Chinese...

    On the pre WW2 build up I thoroughly recommend Adam Tooze's magisterial The Wages of Destruction on the Nazi economy. Hitler was welll aware of the US re-armament programme and its likely outcome and Tooze argues Hitler was very actually quite rational in his approach to gearing up for a short war.

    I guess I get banned now I've mentioned Hitler...

    Devonport • Since Nov 2008 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    how does redundancy work for the Ministerial staff who are now to be replaced? Is it redundancy with an associated package

    afaik they're contracted on the proviso they could be laid off at any time. reallocation of portfolios for example.

    tenuous and high-flying existance that ministerial staffing.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    tenuous and high-flying existance that ministerial staffing.

    "Yeah, I'm an under-assistant for inter-departmental liasons for the Minister. I like to live dangerously baby..."


    Re the Cold War economy - read an interesting piece a while ago that described how the US economy was a high-savings, high-production one during WWII, but shifted to a low-savings, high-consumption model during the Cold War. It was a specific national security policy - they were the consumers of the production of their allies (ensure a strong export in their allies in the Iron Curtain and voila, nobody wants to give up that new TV to be a commie)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Such people tend to get lumped into the calculation when the "army of government spin doctors" gets counted, and yet that's really not a valid characterisation is it?

    my guess is that a lot of the "communications advisors" used to maintain the online-information provision side of the public service should be re-designated.

    it's not like the imaginary days when a policy analyst could have a public statement signed off before distributing it to a journo (or not having it signed off..). you need horde of coders and developers to maintain the security of government websites for starters.

    *then* there's the people managing the content.

    most of the growth in 'comms advisers' is people providing what is in fact a front-line service. the internet.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

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