Posts by Martin Roberts

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  • OnPoint: P is for Potential,

    feadin' fightin and rythmatics

    Hip-hop meets P?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Auckland: where only one man votes,

    My understanding is that Brown won't be able to appoint more than two of the directors, anyhow.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Lies, damn lies, adjectives,

    > Are people employed to maintain the shelter "machine"? Yes.

    If that makes housing productive then I'll argue that cars are also productive assets because they keep mechanics employed. As an entire class of asset that may be true, but as discrete instances they're very definitely not productive.

    I only made that comment because somebody else had asked a question which seemed to imply that generating employment matters. I don't myself see the connection clearly. A machine that makes widgets seems productive to me, but doesn't employ people.

    On the other hand, you also said

    the property held and maintained to facilitate the provision of that service would likely be considered productive inasmuch as it requires upkeep such as cleaning and maintenance

    which seems directly analogous to a house needing maintenance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Lies, damn lies, adjectives,

    [Education] is clearly productive to the educator, as it generates income, but for the educated it is unproductive as consumption of education requires time that cannot then be used for other things.

    This feels like the heart of the difference between some technical definition of "productive" and the word's meaning in the question implied by the original discussion: "Is investing in the provision of rental housing productive for NZ society?"[1]

    To my thinking, an education is productive for the educated and for society. To invest in buying university course seats and on-selling them for weekly payments to students who could not (or chose not) to buy the course upfront seems like a socially useful possibility with a high likelihood of increasing society's output of useful achievements (material or otherwise, but certainly including economic outputs). This seems directly analogous to rental housing, but the value I am getting at is there whether you pay the course fees directly and at once or indirectly on weekly installments; whether you own the house or rent it.

    [1] There is also an element of proportionality in the question of whether to change the tax regime, but it was hard to phrase without obscuring the point about how "productive" was used. For the record, I think that we invest in housing beyond the optimal level, but I don't think all rental housing is unproductive and am intrigued by a possible terminology gap which is distorting the public discussion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Lies, damn lies, adjectives,

    Putting on my "common man" hat, I am going to throw my lot in with Keir. Adequate housing provides the consumable good of shelter which is a necessary input to generate productive labour capacity. If you don't believe me, try living in a shanty over winter.

    So I reckon a house is productive like, say, and education. If that isn't "productive" in your terminology, then there is presumably another word which applies and renders the prevalent productive/unproductive dichotomy meaningless since it doesn't span the relevant options.

    You can certainly buy more house than is productive, but that is a separate question.

    Are people employed to maintain the shelter "machine"? Yes.

    Do I consume shelter? Yes. Maybe not the house, but the shelter. There's a limit to how many can be sheltered in any single house, and any night's shelter is either consumed or lost.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Space for Ol Dat I See,

    Can't resist joining in the cycle love...

    Jack and Stephen - My co-worker has a Blade 8C, and finds it works well. The granny gear isn't as low as his previous 21-speed bike, but he still manages to climb a good portion of the rise from Onehunga to Hillsborough beside SH20. He did put his own saddle (bought in 1980, iirc) and slightly higher handlebars on it.

    Russell - there were some good maps put out in 2008/9 by MAXX. One each for North, Central, West, and South Auckland. CAA may still have hard copies if you can't find them elsewhere.


    Also, with the next SH20 section there is supposed to be a cycleway to match. Plans are probably road based, but it would be nice to connect through Oakley Creek as an option. Tidying up some of the cracks and bad camber would help, as well as making it more wheelchair accessible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: David Garrett wins,

    What happens if your third conviction is for a crime committed prior to your previous convictions? Say you have two strikes already, then get done for child molestation from twenty years before. Anybody know?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Towards a realistic drug policy,

    But your brain stops physically developing in your youth. That's when all the connections that are going to be made, are made. Not something you want to screw up with chemicals.

    I thought that scientific consensus on this had moved slightly. Can't give you a proper citation, but one of the endless repeat interviews on NatRad over the summer mentioned it. Which could have a small impact on the question of legalising for adults, which I hadn't thought of before.

    While I'm talking to the experts, what do people feel about the duration of effect from smoking dope? I know that it is 'measurable' for days, and note that Tony reckons it lingers a couple of days (in kids) after the weekend. In practise, how much does this constrict where and when it is safe and responsible to smoke?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Rethinking NZ’s Emergency Aid,

    Prediction of earthquakes and tsunamis is not accurate. One might or might not occur over several centuries in the Pacific Islands. No group in Samoa, Tonga or NZ is ever going to be able to provide a seamless response (unless the Ministers really do have a direct line to God), because we could not know beforehand.

    Tropical storms don't seem so rare, though.

    As for churches, I understand that most of the house rebuilding in Samoa is being organised through churches. With government oversight and solutions for those few without church connections, but primarily through the churches. Which is a challenge for external agencies to facilitate the reporting quality they need.

    Finally, I suspect that siphoning off money in times of crisis is not readily equated with squeezing your congregation for donations. We seem to be assuming that the cultural and moral calculus yields the same result in both cases.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Actors Don't Hunt in Packs,

    I'm surprised to hear that it's so pronounced in the other changing rooms.

    I was surprised to learn that the girls' showers at my intermediate school had separate stalls. We lads had one large space with about 12 nozzles. Well sized for a game of crab soccer with the soap. Somehow those games faded away as we hit high school...

    Co-educational nudity, however, was not encouraged.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

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