I think you have the wrong end of the stick here, Tom.
Nah, he's being partisan himself, in an attempt to redress a perceived imbalance. But the perception is pretty skewed, it's not like Graeme is some partisan hack who is always going on about the naughty wicked Labour party. He blogs on aspects of highly specific and technical interest. I don't see a big story here, really. It is, as Tom says, a fairly minor thing. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be writing it. He's allowed to write about whatever interests him, and today, this is that subject. Keeping politicians honest is a perfectly noble journalistic cause, and if the target is Labour, it is worth noting that they're hardly some poor starving beneficiary family who don't deserve attention. From time to time, they run the entire country. They're worth keeping honest, for everyone's good.
I hate the bloody things – and I’ve had one friend become addicted to them. It’s a disturbing thing to witness.
Addiction of any kind is worrisome, but the outcome of a gambling addiction is particularly severe. Because the illusion is that you can actually win back money lost, it encourages doubling down, to the point that it encourages seriously criminal behaviour, as the gambler considers it a victimless crime if the money is won back. This took a huge toll on my family a few years ago. People who are not really "bad" people at all can end up doing very bad things. There's not much that's good about a wholesale expansion of that kind of industry in our city.
I do. If a commercial enterprise is genuinely viable, then it should be able to happen at a profit within our existing legal framework. If it requires taxpayer funding and legal facilitation it isn't viable.
Not sure about that. It could be viable to be handed a business, even if it's not viable to build one. I'm not against the government helping for major infrastructure facilities to be built.
What's wrong is that the cost is going to be larger numbers of lives ruined by gambling. The convention center will be built on the destruction of families.
A number of my friends who frequently travel through Asia will leave things like getting their teeth done, or their eyes lasered, or a suit tailored, until they pass through Thailand.
If we had a total autarchy, except that we exported a small amount of cheese, would the cheese sector be "most" of that economy?
Or more poignantly, if it exported nothing, does that mean it has no economy at all?
On the flipside, if for some reason every business broke even, would it make sense to say that there was no production whatsoever, no matter how much actual stuff they made? GDP as a measure of production has this issue.
Sometimes hard to see how some services are actually ‘productive’ but still…
Yup, especially the 25% of our GDP dedicated to "Rental, hiring and real estate services", which is basically people getting money out of already owning something. They don't have to "make" anything.
Well I guess it does very much depend on what you mean by productive, but more than 50% of our exports (in dollar terms) are primary produce. If you look at GDP, though, it's a different story.
That's just residential property, never mind property that supports the revenue-generating economy.
Considering that most of our productive economy is in the farming sector, and a farm's value is very closely related to how much ground it occupies, and most farms are mortgaged up large too, it brings home my point that the affordability of property is basically a question that goes well beyond any mayor to control. It's not even something the government has under control. Indeed, if they refuse to put any controls on it, it fluctuates on the whims of the world economy. Why wouldn't you charge $x for your house, if the price of the same thing in a comparable country/economy is roughly the same? Someone from that country could come here and buy it, so that's going to be the price you set.
I can't claim to have the answers on this question. There is no doubting the problem, but there may well not be a "solution" that any country could come up with, so long as most of the world is tied into the same crazy consensus that private debt ratios are not something to be controlled except via austerity. We have reinvented debt slavery, and built an entire theoretical orthodoxy to justify it, and are scratching our heads that the outcome is that we end up either debt slaves, or cold and starving.
That said, every politician seeking office has to come up with a story about this problem and their solution. Certainly I much prefer the idea of intensification in Auckland, whether or not it solves housing affordability. I sincerely doubt that it will solve it. But it will still make Auckland a much better place, a much more productive place, and the effects of that will be felt throughout the country. I'll be voting for the people who will push this plan through.
I'd say housing affordability is more than just multi-tiered. It's an "entire economy" problem. Property is by far the biggest amount of capital in this country, and many others. It absolutely dwarfs the stockmarket. Therefore the value of it is by far the most dominant economic factor, drowning everything else. For a very long time, the main way that people have got into property is through borrowed money. Money lending causes inflation. On the massive scale that this is done for property, the inflation is massive. It is the main source of inflation in the world today, and also in NZ. The reigning orthodoxy here and in other countries has simply allowed banks to decide how much of this inflation there will be. They don't think that is what they have done, they think they are in control of it. But practically it doesn't work like that. Banks are too big to fail, so when they want more money to lend, it will always be given to them. No Reserve Bank governor would ever have the balls to let a major bank fail just because they felt that letting the bank create inflation was wrong. Instead they will come up with a sophisticated rationale for allowing it, indeed they will probably just alter their model to exclude this kind of inflation from even being calculated, and then advocate all kinds of policies to squeeze the corresponding inflation that must occur in all other businesses whose rentals have risen.
The current system of directly electing mayors is mostly just a contest to see who's the biggest and loudest dickhead.
We do get to vote for a bunch of other things at the same time. I think I'd also prefer to directly vote for the mayor than to have them chosen by a party. It would be excellent if the choice was a run-off thing, though, so that vote splitting just never comes into it.