Word Rich of Observations!
NZ consumers must be the most gouged/rorted in the Western world in terms of price and quality. Food, books, telecommunications, electricity, petrol, and so on and so on and so on...
I thought that we stopped the farmers running the country/business media some time ago?
Where are all the good news stories about how the exchange rates are making capital goods for the service and manufacturing sectors (otherwise known as "the post-colonial economic future") significantly cheaper?
If, putting aside sectoral pleading, the main issue facing the nation is high housing costs, why aren't we following the UK and building more houses rather than using the hopelessly blunt instrument of interest rate?
I'm a little suspicious of the people who suggest that 16 year olds have a lack of capacity to choose among - let's face it - one of the four or five political brands. As a category, I am not convinced that the kids are less capable/able to resist dubious advertising than any other age cohort.
Rather, I think the anti-enfranchaisers are afraid that, quite rightly, 16 and 17 year olds are going to potentially pursue very different interests to the middle-age, middle-class people who comment on blogs on weekdays, who, are thinking on some level - "ooh more potentially education spending more affordable housing spending... what about my tax cuts/old people's drugs/superannuation."
In sum, I suspect I reading a lot of self-serving paternalism. And anyway if, if they are going to work and be taxed, surely they should have a say in the spending of those taxes.
Well, they are already being taxed...
International Obsever: "Supply and Demand" is a rather simplistic heuristic for looking at the world that presumes that some people have the freedom to walk away from certain transaction.
Housing, particuarly for low income people, is a matter of fear and the potential (and often actual) exploitation of fear. Low income people can walk away from buying, say, an iPod but not purchasing housing no matter how much of their income it will take.
The lack of theoretically presupposed freedom means that the market provision model is not appropriate.
In terms of "cultural issues", it is a predominantely Anglophonic obsession that normatively housing should be privately provided - take a look at the rest of the West.
As a really minor point - I believe that the Germans did send conscripts to the Balkans in the late 90s.
But I think Ben is on the right track, as far as I can tell the German military is more or less orientated to mopping up youth unemployment and stopping the USSR from pouring through the Fulda Gap. No-one but the US has the logistical capacity to pull something like a Darfur intervention off, and they would seem to be rather busy right now...
Since when has anyone south of Portsmouth been involved in a "blag"?
Craig: Part of me agrees, part of me doesn't.
While I suspect that there is a socially significant number of people who have simply given up on TV, they don't tend to get counted in TV stations' strategic rationalities - along the lines of "They don't vote for us, so why bother..."
Further, I think that there is an even greater proportion of people who will watch regardless of how bad TV gets, and the TV channels know this. They may seek among channels for what is the least worst option, but if the channels collude to lower quality/production costs - they're still going to watch and be used to sell advertising. It is only when a) people stop watching and b) advertisers move to non-TV media that anything will happen.
Heather: The story is not Millie's misdemenours it is Paul Holmes - the medium is the message.
Not everyone flies - but everyone remotely familiar with NZ knows the product of Paul Holmes .
Oh come on - the comparison with Paris is flawed in that as far a I am aware Paris' father is not a sanctamonious, opinionated buffoon who as much as anyone else imaginable has been involved in the trivialisation of current affairs reporting in a given country at great personal profit.
This couldn't have happened to a more appropriate person.