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.
Was it the same local body election where the Left vote in Eden-Albert ended up getting cannibalised?
I couldn't fathom it either of the times it happened.
You don't have to like the outcome of any election, but it would be really sweet not to belittle anyone who at least got off their arse long enough to post back their ballot.
Voting badly is worse than not voting at all, in my honest opinion. Of course everyone has the right to do it. But that's not the same as it being the right thing to do.
I never thought Auckland would be nuts enough to vote in John Banks. So I give up on guessing what's going to happen in the supercity race, for which we have sample data of 1 point at the moment. Minto would be a big improvement on John Banks, who Auckland elected twice. Politics is so weird I wouldn't be surprised if Kim Dotcom is one day elected mayor. The Mad Butcher could probably pull it off with only a month's notice.
There were some really out-there choices considered for the initial scoping, including personal transport pods, so you can't accuse the CCFAS of being too narrow or flawed in its considerations.
Eric even mentioned Personal Rapid Transport in his post, which are the pods. In an ironic twist, even if we decided to give PRT a go, it would itself be massively improved by a city rail loop. It would give three more extremely popular destinations to the pods, and a way for them to exit the city without holding everything up.
But they're still a dream anyway. The biggest one in the world has 72 vehicles on it. Neat idea, but something to trial on a town like Morgantown, population 29,000, not a city the size of Auckland. I notice that even in Morgantown, during peak hours, it basically becomes a regular train service, running on timetables. Because that is more efficient, as has been known since trains were invented. It's not like one couldn't have made a small train 100 years ago, but the obvious trouble of having thousands of trains getting in each other's way on the rails was clearly analogous in London to the very problem they were trying to solve, thousands of people with carts getting in each other's way trying to get into the city every morning. The only really cunning invention they needed to improve on the idea of a big train with a massive passenger payload was the escalator, a fantastic, brilliant idea for getting massive numbers of people out of an underground station.
In five years, everyone will claim that they always said it was a good idea.
Perhaps it's more of a Shelbyville idea.
Besides, these are the people who, without prohibition, would be growing their own, instead of paying for it, but they're stuck in the city looking for a job, so they have to buy it.
I think poor people who like dope would grow it, for sure. But so would anyone else who likes it, if there was no reason not to. It's easy to grow. So the price would struggle to be above the cost of similar volumes of leafy plant material in the supermarket. In other words, cannabis would cost as much as cabbage. It would barely be worth cultivating for sale, except on a massive scale.
I'd expect more to be smoked. But it wouldn't be a "sky's the limit" thing. Most people who like dope already smoke as much of it as they want, because it's not very expensive, considering how strong it is. Alcohol is more expensive, for a similar length of intoxication, but not everyone is a boozer.