Posts by Jason Kemp

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Panama Papers,

    As Thomas Piketty notes in a recent issue of the Guardian
    Panama Papers: Act now. Don’t wait for another crisis
    Thomas Piketty
    – Financial secrecy represents a huge threat to the fragile global system, and we won’t solve the problem by politely asking tax havens to stop behaving badly

    "There is still a complete lack of transparency as far as private assets held in tax havens are concerned. In many areas of the world, the biggest fortunes have continued to grow since 2008 much more quickly than the size of the economy, partly because they pay less tax than the others."

    and continues

    "There is still one question outstanding: why have governments done so little since 2008 to combat financial opacity? The simple answer is that they were under the illusion that there was no need to act. Their central banks had printed enough currency to avoid the complete collapse of the financial system, thus avoiding the mistakes which post-1929 led the world to the brink of complete collapse. The outcome is that we have indeed avoided a widespread depression but in so doing we have refrained from the necessary structural, regulatory and fiscal reforms. “

    Ironically whether it is the good guys avoiding tax on a massive scale like the Nippert articles show or the really dodgy “bad guys” skirting around the edges like the #panamapapers shows – that governments need to work together to be more transparent so that there is some fairness in global business.

    I’d also note that Deborah Russell went on record to say that the Governments appointee ( Shewan) is not independent and in fact he famously was on the record with advising Westpac bank to on $918m IRD tax claim against them. In that instance he was definitely on the side of the poachers – not the game keepers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 278 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About the King's Arms (updated),

    I’m guessing that as the value of the land goes up the rates also go up and that starts to make the returns from the music venue business look fairly slim. I wonder if there is scope for certain venues to be given cultural character ratings that allow them to continue for specified uses in return for some form of targeted rates relief?

    Just an idea. Clearly KA is a cultural icon and well regarded by many of us but the reality is that as property values rise the pressure to change usage to earn more returns must be quite real.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 278 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About the King's Arms (updated), in reply to Russell Brown,

    FWIW - I see that the redevelopment of the Orange Ballroom at the top of Newton road looks to be almost finished. That building had a very good "dance-floor" and almost certainly still does. The way that they "wrapped" the new development around the old building looks to be smart. Haven't seen inside or anything since it was re-developed but if there was a "sympathetic" re-development of the KA & nearby gym site and it was able to keep the music venue then that would good.

    I keep thinking back to the old Gluepot days. Really that space was tragic in retrospect. Sight-lines were not brilliant and while it was a great venue that was mostly in spite of the lay out rather than because of it. And of course our collective memory of gigs there and say in the Rhumba room or any number of venues that have now gone are mostly about the musical magic rather than the venues themselves.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 278 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About the King's Arms (updated),

    I have just spent some time at an apartment on Karaka St earlier this afternoon. There are already plenty in the area and ironically at least some of those people live there in part because the KA is nearby and that makes the neighbourhood more liveable.

    What is right next to the KA is a car parking area which can and probably should be developed. As for that gym. It has one of the worst driveways ever and definitely not great use of that site. I signed the petition because I do think having some extra publicity over the process will help unravel what is really going on.

    The KA is one of only a handful of live music venues of that size which is a step up from the small bars but not too large. That scale is a rarity. The combination of the outside space and the inside stage is also rare and if I lived there I would want to see it continue. But also understand that the owners have bills to pay and the rates on the site may be forcing their hand.

    Having an undeveloped parking area next door must be a very un-economic way to use that land. It would be great to find out more. Building a liveable city s much more than just housing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 278 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: The Taxpayers' Union rides again!, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Later, National can propose its own, with a different name, to wild applause from the usual suspects.

    Actually National doesn't have to propose its own they can just continue on with Labour Party policies which are in effect UBI to all intents and purposes.

    I wrote about this last week after watching Robert Reich at the #futureofworkNZ conference which as I understood it was a public way of open sourcing policy.

    I only watched the one discussion but it was very clear to me that a formal UBI was seen to be years away but we need to talk about it now kind of tone going on.

    I blogged

    "His (Key's) support for the Labour Party “working for Families” allowances and tax credits is definitely a form of UBI even though he doesn’t recognise the policy intent."

    in Robert Reich in NZ #futureofworkNZ – future of work

    A few days later Bernard Hickey wrote in Bernard Hickey: Key fickle on minimum wages

    To quote from Bernard:

    "John Key described the idea, suggested as one of many at Labour's Future of Work Commission, as "barking mad" and "utterly unaffordable". In 2004, he described Working For Families as "communism by stealth", yet he kept that programme more than eight years as Prime Minister.

    He is also a staunch defender of several other limited versions of Guaranteed Minimum Income New Zealand already has.

    The biggest is superannuation, the minimum income guaranteed to anyone over the age of 65. Some argue it is utterly unaffordable in the long run as the population ages, but Key is not one of those.

    Working for Families is another. It effectively guarantees a minimum income for families with children, albeit through a tax-credit system that supplements earned income, rather than an untaxed benefit independent of other income."

    Clearly there is a public policy debate needed. It should be much more of a zero base process though and accept that compared to many other countries we already have the equivalent of UBI style allowances built into our tax structures.

    I would think that any future UBI style policies would recognise existing allowances and not just plonk extra expense on the top.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 278 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Marion Bruce, 1925-2016: New…,

    Thanks Hilary for this profile of a real pioneer - much appreciated.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 278 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Magnificent melancholy,

    I listened to the Jackson Browne interview on Kim Hill last week and it seems like “These Days” was written by him (when he was 16) but first recorded and made famous by Nico. I may have that wrong.

    During the interview towards the end they played a live version including an intro which may be of interest to those who love that song.

    Jackson Browne: music, politics and ecology

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 278 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Hep C Buyers Club,

    I watched the programme online. I wonder if the publicity will help or hinder. It will certainly improve awareness and probably demand for the drugs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 278 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The real problem with the ‘Kiwimeter’, in reply to izogi,

    Thanks Izogi,

    There are definitely a few filters being applied in order to get a pre-determined result.

    I actually I just completed the survey again on the same setup so there appears to be no system blocking on it. To me that seems like anyone can skew the results by doing the same thing.

    Since I knew what to expect I made my results go in a different direction because I could. Not really on purpose but the reality is when “beach based holidays” is a choice it just seems bizarre that the NZ template is really so narrowly defined.

    Way back in 2007 there was a survey on the NZ class system called 8 Tribes Tribal Demographics (my post at the time) that was ( in my view) a genuine attempt to try and get a better idea of what the NZ demographics really are and to identify NZ archetypes ( if such a thing exists). As I recall Russell also did that survey and wrote about it at the time.

    The Kiwimeter feels more like a party trick than a well designed sociology tool. I wonder if the 8 Tribes people have done anything more recently.

    I just had a quick look. The 8 Tribes survey is still running.

    "8 Tribes is a twenty first century reaction to the myth of the “typical New Zealander”. Perhaps we were once a genuinely homogeneous society but now we have become a rich blend of profoundly different people who cannot be defined by a single set of values and attitudes.

    We dream different dreams, we value different virtues, we judge each other by different standards, and because of that we create lives that look very different.

    8 Tribes is our attempt to make sense of this rich diversity.

    This is a snapshot of New Zealand that explores our unspoken class system and the hidden social boundaries that separate us from each other.”

    Link is: 8 Tribes

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 278 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The real problem with the ‘Kiwimeter’,

    I just completed the “Kiwimeter” survey. Despite misgivings about the framing of certain questions I was able to answer most of them in a way that (somewhat) represented my views.

    Where I did have trouble was in the later stages of trying to choose between say rugby and the All Blacks as a NZ symbol. I know both of those do represent NZ but not the actual NZ I live in. However the other options in those sections were even more constrained. So when presented with a limited range of “closed end” answers like that I would have preferred to answer ‘none of the above’ or ‘something else’. That is the difficulty. Which answer do I dislike the least?

    There were also 2 questions that seemed like huge outliers in the context. One of them was about NZ’s economy and the other about the armed forces. I couldn’t answer either question meaningfully so I didn’t.

    I get that the survey is probably some form of social engineering but if you ask closed questions you will only get answers that people hate the least. If as others have mentioned this is part two of a process which was already reduced to some kind of litmus test then maybe it is useful but?

    The short answer is that the way the questions were framed made me quite uncomfortable and feeling manipulated by a process that thinks I should care about rugby or some other cliched attitudes. The reality is much more nuanced than that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 278 posts Report Reply

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