OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Let it die. Please.

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  • Tom Semmens,

    Now now Craig... You seem to spend most of time on Public Address going over the edge into all sorts of intemperate personal attacks lately.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    I'm pretty sure it's not "/week".

    Yes, my bad. Amended.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 535 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Johnson,

    If this

    But it’s impossible to look at this indecent assault on numeracy and not think that it’s a lightly paraphrased briefing paper written by a policy-cum-comms hack (Research Unit?) outlining the key messages that National wants to get out ahead of the Budget.

    is really a throwaway line, then why was it included in the post? It reads like something from Clinton Smith, not Keith Ng.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Oh yes and to answer your question - I think David Farrar protest violently about any examination of his links to the National Party because it strikes at the very heart of his effectiveness as National Party propaganda tool. That is what i mean.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew E,

    You'd think someone getting on their high horse about numeracy would know the difference between a percentile and a decile, wouldn't you?

    See Muphry's Law.

    174.77 x 41.28 • Since Sep 2008 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    The discrepancy I noticed was that the "When it's actually ..." figures for Labour, double in the next graph "Total impact of packages 2008-2011", even though the axes appear to have the same measures. I'm not sure of the significance of the x-axis change of "Income per year" to "Individual annual income" - perhaps the second graph is for a couple earning the same amount each ?

    Possibly the problem is the y-axis, which should have "per year" removed from the second graph (since the title says it is the Total impact ... 2008-2011).

    There is definitely something wrong with it, because it is not clear what it is actually saying.

    Sorry. The first two graphs were for the Oct 2008 package. The third graph was the combined impact of all proposed tax cut 2008-2011. Again, my bad.

    In my defense, I really didn't want to do the tax cut over income graph, because I think they're stupid, and the second graph was originally entitled "Very Bad Graph. Do Not Read."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 535 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    I do think it's about time we automatically inflation adjusted income tax and nominally reduced fiscal drag to 0 - I doubt any Minister of Finance will ever go for that though.

    Problem is, nobody wants to raise taxes, but everybody needs to raise taxes. Letting growth and inflation do the job for the them gives them more options without the political cost, while inflation adjustments are sp small that they just fuck people off: "Chewing gum budget", anyone?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 535 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Instead of short-term, immediate spending, or even one-off tax refunds, National wants to implement tax cuts that actually become more expensive with time, and they wonder why there's a looming structural surplus?

    I suspect you're being overly generous and that they know exactly what they are doing. I'm not going to get into politicised slagging, but English et al are clever, motivated people so I think it's safe to assume the effect you mention is intentional.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    The discrepancy I noticed was that the "When it's actually ..." figures for Labour, double in the next graph "Total impact of packages 2008-2011", even though the axes appear to have the same measures. I'm not sure of the significance of the x-axis change of "Income per year" to "Individual annual income" - perhaps the second graph is for a couple earning the same amount each ?

    Possibly the problem is the y-axis, which should have "per year" removed from the second graph (since the title says it is the Total impact ... 2008-2011).

    There is definitely something wrong with it, because it is not clear what it is actually saying.

    Sorry. The first two graphs were for the Oct 2008 package. The third graph was the combined impact of all proposed tax cut 2008-2011. Again, my bad.

    In my defense, I really didn't want to do the tax cut over income graph, because I think they're stupid, and the second graph was originally entitled "Very Bad Graph. Do Not Read."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 535 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    You'd think someone getting on their high horse about numeracy would know the difference between a percentile and a decile, wouldn't you?

    Touche. I have no defence on that count.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 535 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And can I note that I read the title of your post and immediately assumed it was a meditation about our nefarious copywrong thread. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    I'm not 100% sure I get the percentile graphs - does the final one suggest that come April 2011, under National's planned tax package (I irrationally HATE the term cuts), the top 10 percentile will be paying net total of $450 MORE in tax than they do now? Or is that -$450 only for the 2011 rate, and is offset by the gains in the 2009 rate?
    Also, it would be useful if you could align your y-axis scales in the Labour and National graphs so as to make comparison easier (because by themselves the graphs don't tell you as much as the comparison). And your post is largely about comparison.

    Of course, I would suggest that both parties' planned tax schedules are now well and truly out of date.

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

  • Keith Ng,

    Keith - I would like you to apologise for your assertion that someone else authored/wrote/had input or even suggested my blog post.

    I will take your word for it. And not the Parliamentary kind of take-your-word-for-it. I mean I will actually take your word for it. And I apologise for implying it.

    But, what I was actually implying was two-fold: It looked and smelled like the kind of stuff the research unit produces, so either it actually *was* a research unit paper (an assert which I withdraw), or it might as well be one.

    Integrity is the issue here. There is a huge difference between making a case for something and creating outright distortions purely to serve PR messages.

    For example, your post essentially tried to paint Labour's tax cut as weighted towards the rich. Not because it's actually true, or because anyone really cares about a purely hypothetical tax cut programme, but because the key attack line on the Budget is that the Nats' tax cut have gone (or will go) to the rich, and you're trying to preempt that with a counter-argument.

    Whether you're doing it independently or not, you are messaging for the National Party, and this is categorically different to expressing a point of view. You are entitled to do either, of course, but I was just pointing it out.

    And also Keith you really should not lecture on transparency of relationships when you failed to even publicly announce you were leaving blogging to go work for Helen Clark. Fortunately I did it for you.

    I stopped blogging immediately when I was employed there. I declared where I was when I came back.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 535 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    I'm not 100% sure I get the percentile graphs - does the final one suggest that come April 2011, under National's planned tax package (I irrationally HATE the term cuts), the top 10 percentile will be paying net total of $450 MORE in tax than they do now?

    Nope. $450 *million* more. So the top 10% combined will pay more tax in 2011 than they do now. They pay more because they'll earn more, and because of fiscal drag.

    Also, it would be useful if you could align your y-axis scales in the Labour and National graphs so as to make comparison easier (because by themselves the graphs don't tell you as much as the comparison). And your post is largely about comparison.

    They don't really hold up well for direct comparisons, since they are of different sizes. The point was to illustrate the distribution pattern for each package.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 535 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Right, thanks Keith

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

  • Bart Janssen,

    So having cleaned up the math a bit (Muphry's Law FTW) we are left with planned tax cuts that benefit some more than others.

    Which brings us back to the point that tax cuts really do help bring a country out of a recession BUT ONLY if they are immediate.

    Promising a freaking tax cut just after the next election is simply trying to buy votes and does F all for the country. Note both (all) NZ political parties do this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3420 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Whether you're doing it independently or not, you are messaging for the National Party, and this is categorically different to expressing a point of view. You are entitled to do either, of course, but I was just pointing it out.

    Oh. "I didn't call you a whore, you suck cock for free and you're still a dirty skank".

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Let it die. Please. And take it outside before it stains the rug.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Craig, come on.

    Did DPF post misleading numbers, in an attempt to score political points? Yes.

    This is turning into a wee bit of a shit fight, yeah, but Keith actually has a point. Which DPF did, and you seem to be, too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 270 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Eddie:

    I'm not quite sure what that last sentence is supposed to mean, but my point is that splitting semantic hairs under an electron microscope is seldom dignified. And the difference between a whore and a slut is pretty fine.

    And there are times when Keith has been sloppy, but I'd think twice (and not bother) about accusing him of being a Labour Party sock puppet. If you don't get how serious that is, Eddie, I can't explain it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    So has anyone who goes there noticed one of the Kiwibleargh commenters disappear as of about last Friday? Possibly accompanied by a post such as:
    OMG Helengrad corrupt cops come to take my guns. I'm gonna deal to them ok. Bring it on!

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Heh. No, but Lynn at te Standard said something recently about vanquishing some "commentators" from the "NZ blogosphere". I'm still not sure if that means their colleagues or guests, or whether weapons were involved. I note their Tane is bowing out today but I'm sure that's unrelated.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Whether you're doing it independently or not, you are messaging for the National Party, and this is categorically different to expressing a point of view. You are entitled to do either, of course, but I was just pointing it out.

    I've already pointed out to David, on his blog, that he hasn't got much of cause for complaint on a day when he has headlined his post on the decision to plough a six-lane motorway through Mt Albert Govt saves taxpayers $1.7 billion.

    And that if a Labour government had indulged in the kind of creative accounting required to justify that claim he'd have been screaming blue murder. Really.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Whether you're doing it independently or not, you are messaging for the National Party, and this is categorically different to expressing a point of view. You are entitled to do either, of course, but I was just pointing it out.

    I think this is a well made point. David needn't receive copy to have a sense of National's direction and his close relationship is always going to call his independence into question. The fact that, in this and other instances, his analysis is so plainly wrong and partisan is confirmation.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Craig - never mind my last sentence, it got garbled going from brain to keyboard. Apologies.

    And yes, agree that an accusation of sock puppetry is unfair. Not quite sure if Keith in fact did that, although you don't seem to see much difference between "you SOUND like the National party research unit" and "you ARE the National party research unit." I think there is a difference, and DPF certainly opens himself up to the former allegation with headlines of the breathless Nat-fellating nature of that highlighted by Russel a couple of posts up.

    Point remains, sockpuppetry or otherwise aside - DPF is making up BS to support National.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 270 posts Report Reply

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