Posts by BenWilson

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  • OnPoint: Election 2011: GO!, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    You're also going to have to persuade the renters that they want to rent high-density infill property - of whatever quality - and that's an entire shift in attitude about living space which is not just price-driven.

    For sure. I'm just saying it's not that common to find it here, so complaints that property prices and the rents that drive them are soaring do seem to come back to the nature of our urban/suburban property. Yes, it's cheaper to live Melbourne, but they do have about 5 km in every direction around the city filled with low-rise property. We don't. So if you want to live close to the city it costs an arm and a leg, or you live in something really crappy.

    They're cold, but you know they're built well.

    They're the devil we know, for sure. I don't think they're that well-built, but given enough incremental fixes over a century, they're adequate for people that, on the whole, don't know any different anyway. Having moved to a house that's not old, cold, drafty and humid, I've started to see how silly the obsession with their character is. I'd love to live in an inner suburb, but it won't be the quality of the houses that pulls me in.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Election 2011: GO!,

    Removing the depreciation from ppty has resulted in rents increasing and CGT will have a similar effect - that is my view - I don't have to research this the same way I don't have to research the fact that the sun comes up each morning.

    I put it to you that one is considerably more certain than the other.

    You're pretty much going off correlation, I think. Remove depreciation, rents go up, so therefore removing depreciation makes rents go up.

    The problem with this thinking is that rents going up is correlated to pretty much everything because they only ever go up. Sun comes up, rents go up.

    The driver of this is greed, manifesting in the expectation of a return, and the brake on it is the renters themselves, refusing to pay. That's the only thing, aside from regulatory price fixing, that stops landlords charging whatever they want. They don't need an excuse to put rents up.

    Refusing to pay won't help much in any short term, because pretty much every property investor expects high returns, that's what's driven this bubble. A big part of that expectation, which can only be short term, is that there are massive tax incentives on property investment in this country. Remove that and you might remove some of the expectation, gradually. Naturally it's not going to do the whole job, property goes up for many reasons. One of those is a lack of development. If no more property is being made, it becomes scarcer as populations rise, functions like gold in that respect.

    Development is an entirely different activity to speculation, although it is also risky, so people can be forgiven for seeing them as similar. But consider this - property speculators don't make a damned thing. Often all they do is buy something and let it run down, milking it all the way, and then sell it for an untaxed profit. Developers, OTOH, actually create property. This could bring prices down, if they create a glut, turning it into a buyer's market.

    Unfortunately for renters in NZ, this kind of activity is highly discouraged. We'd rather that colonial hovels designed for poor working classes during the early 20th century, or before, are endlessly recycled, than allowing high density good quality property to develop near our city centers. Our tax system encourages massive profits from taking places like that, putting a lick of paint on them, maybe a new kitchen, and selling it for millions of dollars. Our resource consent system makes development prohibitively expensive, not to mention ridiculously time consuming. This is a tax on development, pure and simple, and it's way, way out of control.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Medical Journal, Chapter V, in reply to recordari,

    but having women in the discussion just makes it feel more normal, and safer, somehow.

    Yes, me too. The "birds and the bees" discussion in my early puberty was done by my mother, while Dad hid.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Medical Journal, Chapter V, in reply to Paul Williams,

    You don't think there'd be a high degree of impotence amongst that mob?

    They may be shooting blanks, but they're shooting. Every post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Medical Journal, Chapter V,

    You can definitely extract the sperms afterward. Just not the fun way. It's an ouch way. It's probably cheaper than a sperm bank.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Medical Journal, Chapter V, in reply to Paul Williams,

    That's fair, imagine this thread at kiwiblog... wait, don't.

    No fair, that's like saying "don't think about elephants". But I suspect that team would have no trouble filling a supertanker with jizz in no time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Medical Journal, Chapter V, in reply to Emma Hart,

    And I know what they were trying to do, but it was like getting a kitten after your cat dies.

    A heck of a lot of cat lovers do get a kitten after the old one dies. Not immediately, but love of cats can be general.

    I'm quite nervous about making the big call of future permanent sterility. I'd probably find it easier if I had an ample supply of the, er, good stuff stashed away in a sperm bank. It's not unknown for people to lose their entire family. It's only one car crash away. Or a total estrangement. Could also be an option for my wife if I died, and she decides another child would be nice.

    I could have a heck of a lot of life left in me, maybe another 50 reasonable years. Anything could happen, a big fuck-off war, some horrendous natural disaster, or something horrid but quite frequent like breast cancer. These things do happen...

    Some people might know for sure that they never ever will want any more children. I don't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Muse: TV Review: Good Gods Almighty!,

    Yes it would be quite wrong to for it to all happen on Chewbacca's day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Muse: TV Review: Good Gods Almighty!,

    I thought Wednesday was Wodin's day....

    Edit: Hang on, did she ask this the day before? I don't remember every line in there!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Medical Journal, Chapter V, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    That's not only heart shaped, it's heart colored. I think we have a new Odin.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

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