OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: There is no depression in New Zealand. Apparently.

72 Responses

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  • Emma Hart,

    Yay, Keith's back from his re-education program!

    I'll get my coat.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Why waste breath when those that can possibly affect things have already made up their minds, and those that care but can't affect things become paralysed with cynicism and ennui.

    You have a point. Why talk about the apocalypse, just run! Or eat, drink and be merry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Welcome back Keith!

    See what happens when you don't blog an election..?

    On the National/Act policy tango, I think National is more than happy to have someone pushing them on right wing issues as moving to the centre would've been an uncomfortable necessity to many in the party and its supporters.

    And if National takes the teeth out of a right wing policy it can say "See: we are centre right." And if they go along with it they can say ""See: we are centre right."

    Act wants the action and they're getting but are going to have to watch they don't talk themselves into a corner if they're raising the volume on Issues National knows are poll poison.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • underscore_b,

    Tim summed up very succinctly everything that I was about to post, so I'll just say welcome back.

    Welcome back Keith!

    Since Jun 2007 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Welcome back, Keith.

    What makes me think that the Key/Hide relationship will be much like the Lange/Douglas one?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Act wants the action and they're getting but are going to have to watch they don't talk themselves into a corner if they're raising the volume on Issues National knows are poll poison.

    Or a molotov magnet.

    What makes me think that the Key/Hide relationship will be much like the Lange/Douglas one?

    Speaking of Lange, remember when he remarked, "the country couldn't continue to be run like a Polish shipyard"? Well, Colorado TABOR and the Deane-era Telecom sound remarkably similar in practice.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5426 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Declaration first: I am NOT an economist, my knowledge in this area is limited to some general reading and listening to friends whom I trust, friends who DO know what they are talking about. So my comments are more for discussion than made from certainty.

    Speaking personally, my answer to the depression is to tighten and save. Pay off debt. But I don't think that is good for the economy.

    As I understand it you are dead right. Economic theory seems to say that in a depression, governments need to stimulate economy by spending tax money (infrastructure if you are National, healthcare/education if you are Labour) AND freeing up tax dollars by tax cuts. Countries that did that quickly in the 1930s did better than countries that didn't, but that was 80 years ago and times have changed.

    Tax cuts can be a problem if, instead of spending the money, people just save it. Since saved money doesn't immediately stimulate the local economy. Although you could argue that having money in kiwisaver allows the fund managers to invest in the local economy.

    That said, it seems that what National has promised is the best bet to stimulate the local economy. Much as I might personally hate the idea of kiwisaver being undermined.

    BUT

    For NZ the local economy is so small that it is almost irrelevant. As far as I can tell from my right voting friends, the biggest complaint about the Labour Government is that they haven't done a thing to resolve our balance of payments black hole, if anything it's worse now. I personally think it has less to do with Labour than with the fact none of the NZ governments have made any serious impact on the external deficit. I also personally think the best solution for NZ is to have the best education system in the world and let educated kiwis do what the governments haven't done.

    In short what worries me most about the coming POTUS is that it will make it hard for other countries to spend money on what NZ sells. That, I think, is why all countries that sell primary commodities are seeing their dollar fall relative to the rest of the world.

    I have no idea what changes will have to happen to get NZ to earn more money than it spends. I don't see any indication that National has a plan for that or that Labour has a plan either.

    To me it looks like National is a party that wants power more than a party that is willing to risk power to do the best thing for New Zealand. But I guess we'll see over the next three years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Was POTUS the final conclusion for an acronym for the recession? I didn't get a vote, if I did it would be against that acronym, since it already stands for "President Of The US".

    Bart I agree with all of that. The only way I can see NZ breaking out of a 'spending more than it earns' cycle is to begin massive scale savings. And now is hardly the time for that. Well, for the economy anyway. Personally, it's exactly what I'm doing. Bugger the economy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Hi Ben

    Was POTUS the final conclusion for an acronym for the recession? I didn't get a vote,

    Vote??? heh that was just my suggestion and yes I was aware of the other meaning for the acronym - it was rather the point.

    But I don't expect it will catch on, but there were a bunch of nice suggestions in the thread :).

    cheers
    Bart

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yay, Keith's back from his re-education program!

    I'll get my coat.

    Quick! Somebody chain that woman to her computer (but not in a kinky way).

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I'm equally unqualified to offer too many views about what to do next, but I will ask why the PMs focus is on tourism? Tourism's high impact and low yield by comparison with other strategies for boosting GDP. It is, however, easier than improving exports. NZ has the low trade-intensity, soon to get lower in regional economies soften as they're predicted to do.

    The focus on stimulating domestic demand makes sense in the short-term, but the domestic economy is small. Longer-term NZ has too boost trade... thankfully McCully's just the man right?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Quick! Somebody chain that woman to her computer (but not in a kinky way).

    What he said... perhaps if it gets kinky but, Ms Hart will at least write about it?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    What he said... perhaps if it gets kinky but, Ms Hart will at least write about it?

    The process may increase my typos...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The process may increase my typos...

    It would also boost Russelll's readership quite a bit, I would think. But let's not digress.

    The focus on stimulating domestic demand makes sense in the short-term, but the domestic economy is small. Longer-term NZ has too boost trade... thankfully McCully's just the man right?

    Yes, other countries would have to come to the conclusion that we must really be a tremendous country, if we can afford to put at foreign affairs I man of so little quality and charm. Hope we don't come across as too cocky.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    it was rather the point.

    Heh, ic...cause of the last guy. But it unfairly slurs the next guy too.

    The curious thing about the terrible balance of trade is that the very worst offender for this kind of the thing is also the richest nation on the planet. Which kind of suggests that maybe it's not the end of the world.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    The process may increase my typos...

    I wonder what response I'll get it I explain my typos at work with detailed and salacious explanations of kink...?

    The curious thing about the terrible balance of trade is that the very worst offender for this kind of the thing is also the richest nation on the planet. Which kind of suggests that maybe it's not the end of the world.

    I might be misinterpreting this but, if you mean the US, their domestic economy is huge... therefore a much more effective buffer against a downturn in offshore demand. They also have a much more diverse trade profile, less dependent on commodities etc.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Tax cuts can be a problem if, instead of spending the money, people just save it.

    You can avoid this if, instead of giving tax cuts, you throw the money at infrastructure projects etc. You can stimulate a lot of growth, particularly in a low population region by building stuff.

    There are other problems with that solution, but I wonder if there's any theories out there about how infrastucture spending should be inverse to the economy - when the economy is weak, you build, when it's strong, you slow down building and save the money for the next bust.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Interesting thing: no entry for OnPoint has yet reappeared on the PA homepage blogroll (though this post is on the PAS roll). So how permanent is this return, Keith? Is there something we should know?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1898 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    the richest nation on the planet

    you mean the one that's on the brink of bankruptcy and default?

    maybe it's not the end of the world

    but might we be nearing the end of the world's largest dysfunctional economy?

    (Iceland x 1000, anyone?)

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I might be misinterpreting this but, if you mean the US, their domestic economy is huge... therefore a much more effective buffer against a downturn in offshore demand. They also have a much more diverse trade profile, less dependent on commodities etc.

    ;-) yup. I was joking. I don't think it's been beneficial to the US in the stakes of international competitiveness to have such an imbalance. But they did manage to pull it off for an awfully long time. Like all the people I know who have their credit maxed out all the time. Of course they'd be better off to pay off their debts, cut up their cards and live within their means. But they'd also live a poorer life for quite a while, while they were doing it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Sigh. Russell can you please get your Cactus folk to fix whatever is logging me out today every now and then when I go from one page to another (without having altered a single setting or upgraded any components at my end).

    Something seems to have gone astray with their quality control recently. I would appreciate an update on how their fixing of video embedding is going too. I realise I'm only paying you peanuts through page impressions but I expect a certain basic standard of technical competence, and it has been several weeks now. It's getting a tad depressing.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Sigh. Russell can you please get your Cactus folk to fix whatever is logging me out today every now and then when I go from one page to another (without having altered a single setting or upgraded any components at my end).

    Can you email me with details -- OS, browser version, etc? I'll get onto it.

    The YouTube embedding is odd too. It doesn't affect everyone and it's inconsistent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Interesting thing: no entry for OnPoint has yet reappeared on the PA homepage blogroll (though this post is on the PAS roll). So how permanent is this return, Keith? Is there something we should know?

    Don't fret. He took me a bit by surprise. He'll be back on the masthead very soon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'll get onto it.

    Thank you.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    Interesting thing: no entry for OnPoint has yet reappeared on the PA homepage blogroll (though this post is on the PAS roll). So how permanent is this return, Keith? Is there something we should know?

    Interesting thing being how many of your have managed to read it regardless. Are you reading via RSS feeds or PAS? Either way, hadn't really checked PAS as I didn't expect people to respond when it wasn't, you know, *up*.

    But thanks for the welcomes - lovely to be back.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

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