Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Vision Thing

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Hebe,

    the Nats are going to ram repugnant-to-most-voters actions through asap -this year and next so they can pork-barrel their way through their last year of this term.

    This is standard for every government I have seen in NZ Labour or National led. Year 1 pass obnoxious vote losing legislation.
    Year 2 make cuts to pad current account surplus
    Year 3 spend that money on populist vote getting changes

    Get re-elected because nobody remembers the ugly year 1 stuff

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to 3410,

    There was a time when "having visions of growing pies" indicated madness, you know

    or a starring role in a European folktale :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16667 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Or teen comedy flicks. Maybe that's the metaphor everyone's really after - NZ isn't growing or dividing the pie - it's actually fucking the pie.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    just found the relevant line in Shearer's speech - the last words are a useful qualification:

    Not just a bit of tinkering here and some adjusting there
    and leaving the rest to the market.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    ew

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16667 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    This is standard for every government I have seen in NZ

    This is worse: they spent the whole of the first term positioning; now all hell is breaking loose simultaneously on many fronts. From education to mining to public service cuts to privatisation and anything else on their bucket list. They scary thing about this lot is the laser-like focus the likes of Key and Joyce bring to their task; most pollies can be deflected by politics itself; they are not.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to BenWilson,

    A very unevenly divided pie can't grow very fast, because neither the people with the big piece, nor those with a very small piece, are incentivized to grow it. A worker, totally alienated from the profits of the company, doesn't really give much of a shit, at heart, about the performance of the company, which is just as likely to sack them in good times or bad, just to make better profits for shareholders.

    And by extension, a population which does not share in economic growth has no reason to care about it, except possibly to oppose it to prevent their relative position from getting even worse. And where that growth comes from actively reducing living standards at the bottom (wage cuts, service cuts, reductions in labour standards), people have an active reason to fight against it.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1642 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Sacha,

    Or teen comedy flicks. Maybe that’s the metaphor everyone’s really after – NZ isn’t growing or dividing the pie – it’s actually fucking the pie.

    How trickle-down economics works:

    A Wall Street banker, a blue-collar worker, and a beneficiary are standing beside a large pie sliced into 10 pieces. The banker takes 9 of the slices and tells the blue-collar worker, ‘Careful now, that unemployable vermin wants to mug you for your slice.’

    The perfect antidote to anyone who invokes the infamous 'How Taxes Work' urban legend.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4305 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Shearer’s speech also did not contain – as certain of my gloomier friends have been confidently predicting – a fresh stanza of dog-whistling about welfare.

    Shearer's office were briefing to this effect a month or so ago. I'm guessing the party couldn't reach a consensus on policy. It seems significant that Shearer didn't mention the WFF to beneficiary policy, which seems like the first thing to go if you're moving to the centre.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    "Shearer's speech also did not contain -- as certain of my gloomier friends have been confidently predicting -- a fresh stanza of dog-whistling about welfare."

    Dear God, man. What do you call this:

    Number one: our community must take care of the needy. They deserve a share of the pie.

    And if people fall on hard times, we will help.

    But equally importantly, number two: everyone who can help to make that pie needs to be involved, and fairly rewarded for doing it.

    Here's a hint: it is indistinguishable from what John Key has always said about welfare in his speeches.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7364 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Yes, not too tired for this as it is an important point - Shearer is Key's doppelgänger.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to merc,

    Yes, not too tired for this as this is an important point - Shearer is Key's doppelgänger.

    Well, not quite, John Key's speechwriter is much better than Shearer's.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7364 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Fractionally, Shearer is also ambitious for New Zealand remember? It seems fairly apparent to me that Shearer is designer Labour Key, sadly this will have bad affects. Notably that Labour thinks we are all so stupid as to remember them left.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    With all Shearer’s talk of lambs and pies and CGT, I’m reminded of this excellent article Alex Coleman tweeted yesterday:

    Consider how conservatives got a majority of Americans to be against the Obama health care plan. The president had polled the provisions, and each had strong public support: No preconditions, no caps, no loss of coverage if you get sick, ability to keep your college-age child on your policy, and so on. These are policy details, and they matter. The conservatives never argued against any of them. Instead, they re-framed; they made a moral case against “Obamacare.” Their moral principles were freedom and life, and they had language to go with them. Freedom: “government takeover.” Life: “death panels.” Republicans at all levels repeated them over and over, and convinced millions of people who were for the policy provisions of the Obama plan to be against the plan as a whole.

    Shearer can mumble about how “our community must take care of the needy” all he likes, but when no-one in Labour is articulating why we must take care of the needy, the field is wide open for National to tell us why solo mums, stevedores etc. just need to suck it up cos we’re in a recession didn’t you know.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    From the speech

    Right now, they're following the money, and that means we're turning out an army of accountants.

    Engineers and scientists, not so much.

    Just a note we are now in the process of firing scientists from our CRIs while the accountants and management get pay rises.

    The damage done to our research institutes will take decade to recover from.

    And BTW that damage was started by Labour when they abandoned science funding to the control of treasury.

    At present, I would not advise any child to become a scientist in New Zealand - that shocks and horrifies me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Get re-elected because nobody remembers the ugly year 1 stuff

    I agree that a lack of pattern recognition is a serious problem for us. If we could genuinely tread new ground, it might get better.

    Sisyphus.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2137 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I would suggest that every child in NZ *is*, by global standards, getting an excellent education. We might not get the grades of Singapore or Korea, but we don't have the soul and creativity destroying drudgery. We've so far managed to avoid a lot of the middle-class opt out of the UK and the GPA-chasing of the US.

    There are challenges for schools: they need to stop breaking the law by charging compulsory fees, we need to remove subsidies from private schools and make all schools accountable to the community, and most of all we need to remove the vestiges of feudalism - training the upper classes for leadership and the proles for serfdom.

    But most of the problem is stopping National from undermining the hard work of just about everyone in the sector.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4459 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    <glib><literal>

    Surely growing pies is in the same category as unicorns. I don't think I have ever seen one for real and I know of no one who has been able to verify their existence though measured effects on reality. Therefore I am rightly suspicious of their existence and usefulness.

    <seriously>

    I'm growing to despise metaphors that trivialise realities like money, health and opportunity.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 724 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    equally importantly, number two

    an interesting turn of phrase, I thought

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16667 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    At present, I would not advise any child to become a scientist in New Zealand - that shocks and horrifies me.

    That's been the case for at least a decade. There's just no job (or no secure job, which amounts to the same thing in science) at the end of it.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1642 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    At present, I would not advise any child to become a scientist in New Zealand

    Labour and others ought to seriously think about how to persuade any young New Zealanders to stay here at all. As Ben said so forcefully on Danyl's discussion, without real jobs backed by real capital investment, no amount of education will help.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16667 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Thing about the pie is that we don't have enough ingredients. And we forget to blow on it.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2106 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    At present, I would not advise any child to become a scientist in New Zealand - that shocks and horrifies me.

    FWIW I no longer advise students to undertake PhD's in New Zealand.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 724 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Just a note we are now in the process of firing scientists from our CRIs while the accountants and management get pay rises.

    And ... we are now in the process of firing academics from our universities while hiring more accountants, marketers, managers and micro-managers.
    It's knowledge bro- but not as you knew {true = no; belief = yes; reasonable = who cares} it :)
    Shocks me too. But then, I would never advise any child, anywhere, any time, to study accountancy or commerce. Cruelty to children is a step too far.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1571 posts Report Reply

  • insider, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    MED Already has multiple ministers - Telecommunications, consumer affairs, Resources and Development, Energy, Econ Dev. Nothing new here, just bigger and probably more unwieldy.

    Personally I think the process stuff - regulations about toasters and companies register etc should be separated out from the strategic planning element. Although that could create a Ministry of Administrative Affairs, which rings a bell...

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

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