Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The digital switch-off

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  • Marcus Turner, in reply to Andre,

    No problem. Perhaps you thought my post had something to do with yours. I just posted it then, 'cos I found it then. Couldn't think of a better place to put it.

    In my observation, this is a pretty good list for civilised argument, and my views have been challenged and changed simply by reading posts here. But I have noticed barbs. In my experience, these are usually some way of saying "ouch", but sometimes have the effect of being an attack on someone else (who then says "ouch" in a damaging way, and so it continues - except when we learn to break the cycle).

    Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to BenWilson,

    It also seems to me that making up a new word to describe “the economy is really fucked” isn’t really so helpful.

    Except that stagflation isn't a made-up word. In fact, it's sufficiently not-made-up that Firefox's dictionary (which doesn't recognise Firefox, as a matter of amusement) considers it valid.
    It may not be in common English usage, but it's definitely a "proper" word and it definitely describes our current economic situation more accurately than "depression". In addition to not having the same panic-inducing connotations.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    The problem I have is this (and I would imagine I am not the only one): I pay around $80 per month, just for Sky Digital. And that's just for the one telly in the living room. We have it because Ian watches TV alot, and sometimes for most of the day, if he's feeling poorly. I would get MySky for him but I think that takes it up to $95 p/m, and you pay for the box, which doesn't even belong to you. So they can get stuffed on that one. I would love Freeview for my TV, in the bedroom, which is the one I normally watch telly on, but I have a HD recorder, and as far as I'm aware, if I'm watching something through Freeview, I can't record something else on another channel. So what to do?

    Well, true, Jackie - you can't record something on another channel - but you can watch the programme while it's recording - go back and check something you missed - pause it for as long as you like and fast-forward over the ads. It's not all bad.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 394 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Thinking about this overnight, I don't think i am that worked up by the demise of TVNZ 7. hardly anyone watched it anyway.

    I have no idea if 'hardly anyone' watches it. All I know is that I do, a lot, and that it's the only channel that you can be almost certain to be able to find something worth watching on. I think that's called a public service, even if the public it serves is not the whole public.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 394 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr, in reply to Gabor Toth,

    We never saw TVNZ6's Kidzone as a means to occupy our four-year old for 12 hours a day. It was however brilliant to know that we could sit our wee-one down to watch a moderate bit of telly any time between 6am and 6pm knowing that the programmes would be worthy, age appropriate and often quite educational. Absent would be the three-frames-per-second style of cartoon common on commercial TV consisting of an orgy of destruction by enormous robots (or similar). Also absent were the commercials and commercial tie-ins where programmes are simply an extended advertisement for overpriced plastic merchandise for sale at your local Toy World. Along similar lines, I've witnessed preschoolers talking in American accents as a result of watching nothing but Playhouse Disney on Sky.

    Kidzone's host presenter, Kayne Peters was probably the hardest working man in television (I have no idea how he kept up that level of energy and enthusiasm). Not only is our wee girl is bitterly disappointed at the loss of TVNZ6, she was also pretty upset the other day when in 60 seconds on TVNZ7 we went from "Giggles" at 7.59am to scenes of devastation and distraught people in Christchurch on the 8am news and Te Karere (we were out of the room at the time but this was something we had been trying to avoid exposing her to).

    I agree with every word you say Gabor. I've always felt quite safe turning on TV6 for my 5 year old granddaughter. The lack of Barbie Doll ads is as important as the familiar accents and relevant content.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 394 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    What I'm going to miss the most, on the children side of things, is actually the TVNZ7 news. My lot is growing up without newspapers in the house, which is bad enough, but also without the 6 o'clock news, and you can only make do with radio to a point.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Andre,

    Maybe they should define their policy a bit more

    Maybe they should. Or maybe they didn't think people would take it to mean 100% of government purchasing must be from local suppliers, when that's plainly impractical and ultimately leads to a closed market with sky-rocketing prices courtesy of the legislatively-captive purchaser. You may dismiss many of their policies, but they do have some members who are capable of taking a longer-term view.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr, in reply to Jan Farr,

    Personally I would like to see a publicly funded channel showing only Documentary, Current Affairs and News with a daily discussion/forum type show discussing those shows with a satirical show for perspective.
    There you go, a mission statement in three lines. ;-)
    Who would be up for that?.

    I say yes, yes, yes – as long as you could squeeze ‘tennis’ in there somewhere. Maybe under ‘current affairs’.

    Um - and the occasional decent drama? Could we maybe add a small Culture category?

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 394 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I have to say that before Worik Stanton attacked me I hadn't read all of the Green's policies... but I still think that there should be a party like the Alliance circa 1992 that included various left-wing viewpoints with a lesser degree of ecological bias. Like a capital gains tax-introducing non-National party party that doesn't require us to compulsorily go organic?

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I'm about to be offline for a while but will check back for Worik's response later... cheers!

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Andre,

    Like a capital gains tax-introducing non-National party party that doesn't require us to compulsorily go organic?

    Sorry, can you take me back to the part where the Greens are saying that buying local or going organic should be compulsory, as opposed to incentivised?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jan Farr,

    Um – and the occasional decent drama? Could we maybe add a small Culture category?

    It would probably have to be old drama. Drama's effing expensive to produce.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18709 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Andre,

    If it costs a lot more to buy local then the government should buy overseas.

    I have been arguing against this kind of thinking for years. If you pay someone to mow your lawns the money goes out of the family purse, if you pay your Son, or Daughter, to mow your lawns and then charge them rent it will cost you nothing but the cost of fuel (even I wouldn't be cruel enough to insist they used scissors) Filling Government contracts locally has a long onflow effect. Company employs more workers, less welfare payments for unemployed. Company makes more profit, Government collects more tax. Workers spend more at the shops, shopkeepers make more profit and collect more GST and pay more tax. Shopkeepers spend more in other shops, other shops employ more people and so on ad-infinitum.... It is the gift that just keeps on giving golden geese.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4670 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Shopkeepers spend more in other shops, other shops employ more people and so on ad-infinitum

    Welcome to socialism! Although even I would have to note for honesty's sake that we've had a few problems with the "ad infinitum" part.

    But yeah, the idea that it's cheaper to buy overseas doesn't take into account the cost of people losing their jobs domestically, and the cost of having a fucked up balance of payments.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    that’s plainly impractical and ultimately leads to a closed market with sky-rocketing prices courtesy of the legislatively-captive purchaser.

    [citation needed] I think. I can't see why. If the captive purchaser is legislative, ie. Government then they have the power to control this. They could, in fact, control inflation, to an extent, by controlling their own contract pricing.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4670 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Welcome to socialism!

    Thank you, I have been here a while. ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4670 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I have been arguing against this kind of thinking for years.

    I'll bite. To some degree if you can buy local that's great. And if the only reason overseas goods are cheaper is because they pay slave labour rates then definitely buy local.

    But if you insist on always buying local by preference then you can easily get to the point where inefficient and sometime crap quality local suppliers are being favoured and efficient overseas suppliers (energy efficient, labour efficient and "good") are being excluded. That situation has existed in my memory in NZ.

    So as an idea it's cool. But there are times when I'd rather our local suppliers made something else and left overseas supplier to supply things they can make better.

    To use your analogy, if by getting your kids to mow the lawns you are preventing them from going to school and learning how to design buildings etc then you are much better off getting your neighbour to mow your lawns.

    TLDR the policy is OK but not as an absolute.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    it definitely describes our current economic situation more accurately than "depression"

    I don't think so. Depression itself is not well defined. Stagflation is a much more specific term, and could be experienced at the same time as a depression. It doesn't describe everything that's happening, just a couple of indicators.

    Essentially a depression is a sustained downturn. We're having that, even though the ways of measuring it are not identical to the Great Depression.

    I don't think "panic inducing" is fair. If we're in a depression, we can't just hide our heads in the sand to avoid doing something about it. Quite the opposite, it's best if we front up to it, and work out what to do. It was one of the most grueling things about the Great Depression that people wouldn't even acknowledge it was happening until well into it, there was always the "let's ride it out, things will improve" which kept people hanging on and hoping, rather than getting wildly upset and actually forcing required change.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8316 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    that’s plainly impractical and ultimately leads to a closed market with sky-rocketing prices courtesy of the legislatively-captive purchaser.

    [citation needed] I think. I can’t see why. If the captive purchaser is legislative, ie. Government then they have the power to control this. They could, in fact, control inflation, to an extent, by controlling their own contract pricing.

    It's pretty self-evident, I'd have thought. If the State is legally required to purchase from local suppliers, the locals can jack prices up because they have to be used.
    If the option to go offshore exists, that presents a cap on the cost of local purchasing. Take that away and there's nothing to stop the locals bumping their costs, especially if there are only a couple of local purchasing options - or just one, in the case of trains. Welcome back to the bad old days pre-Roger.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Welcome back to the bad old days pre-Roger.

    Dear lord.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jan Farr,

    Jan, in a word, no – not in Big O.
    Which is why almost everyone – certainly all the permanant residents – have Sky.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Fisher & Paykll anyone?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But if you insist on always buying local by preference then you can easily get to the point where inefficient and sometime crap quality local suppliers are being favoured and efficient overseas suppliers (energy efficient, labour efficient and “good”) are being excluded. That situation has existed in my memory in NZ.

    Indeed, it nearly ran us into the ground as governments were obliged to employ increasingly creative means to encourage import substitution: tariffs, subsidies, import licensing. The Post Office used to build its own trucks, at considerable expense.

    Are we really going to build and market our own computers? Or dictate that only parts, not whole computers, can be imported, the way we used to do with cars? How much extra cost and wasteful diversion of resources away from things we’re good at making are we prepared to wear? How much money are we taking away from desirable policies in doing so?

    Another way of looking at it is: is it a good idea for industrialised countries to shun our (relatively) sustainable primary products in favour of producing their own via subsidies and grossly inefficient and unsustainable practices?

    So as an idea it’s cool. But there are times when I’d rather our local suppliers made something else and left overseas supplier to supply things they can make better.

    As a principle to be applied where it makes sense – and, dragging things back to the topic, cultural and media works are an example, because they add the kind of value that economists don’t understand – it has its place. But it’s not like we didn’t give it decades and a whole lot of economic theory to work. We loved the idea more than almost any other Western country. It just didn’t do what it said on the label.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18709 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    It’s pretty self-evident, I’d have thought. If the State is legally required to purchase from local suppliers, the locals can jack prices up because they have to be used.

    They don't even have to do that. They could simply be more expensive because they're not big enough or not good enough at producing the things we need to buy. This is all money that comes out of desirable policies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18709 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It just didn't do what it said on the label.

    Neither has the opposite. Spectacularly so, in fact.

    Another way of looking at it is: is it a good idea for industrialised countries to shun our (relatively) sustainable primary products in favour of producing their own via subsidies and grossly inefficient and unsustainable practices?

    They don't buy our produce because it's sustainable, they buy it because it's cheaper. One of the reasons why it's cheaper, is that we are so desperate to produce it and export it (since we killed pretty much all our other industries), that we are quite happy to let farmers pollute at will just so they ship said produce out.

    Am I in principle against governments recognising that their own primary producers represent a value to their economies (in terms of diversification, sustainability, protection of ecosystems and local economies, etc.), and enacting limited protections to defend them from the vagaries of the commodity markets or help them compete with overseas producers, including ours? No. Just like I think there is a place in tariffs in the industrial sector. It doesn't mean that we therefore must start producing our own circuit boards, that would be an unlikely limit case. On the other hand, if you're looking for extremes, we are in fact it: a country with no tariffs whatsoever. There aren't very many around I think you'll find. It's almost churlish to think we should subsidise our local TV programming and nothing else.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

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