Posts by Jason Kemp

  • Hard News: The Oncoming Day, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Thanks Rosemary - I think "demand management" was exactly what I overheard. The apparent staff bonuses for doing that was the surprise.

    The relevance of all of this to health care is that that same context applies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Oncoming Day,

    The irony of all this penny pinching is that having diseases like this in the community actually cost more than treatment ever does. Even when people get the tests and find out what the the options are it is still not easy to access help even for the most savvy of us.

    Sometimes even getting a diagnosis is blocked or made difficult because of the possibility of expensive treatment. Especially if there is a social stigma.

    In the weekend I heard overheard a conversation between two social workers. This took place in a public area and while they didn’t identify anyone by name it was a bit scary.

    The story was that someone was entitled to help with accomodation and that included various allowances. They had tried to claim before but this time went along with one of the social workers. Their request was granted but it was made clear that it was because of the presence of the social worker.

    That social worker said that even though their “client” was entitled to help – the agency that person went to would get some kind of bonus if they were able to limit or prevent the claiming of the benefit entitlements.

    It was like the PR line was – the government is here to help you but if the internal policies of the agency could limit or even prevent access – that is their real policy.

    I understand that rationing of services is a reality but surely we all deserve a much more transparent accountability of the true costs of denying help?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind those Herald…,

    Last week I had to drive to an after work hours project. Normally it takes me 5-10 mins. It took 1 and a quarter hours. I had allowed 20 mins which was triple the usual time but there was an extra wide crane truck blocking all of a lane and then some plus other traffic delays I didn’t see. It seems to me that driving anywhere in Auckland during rush hour is almost impossible.

    Commuting by car is not an option and I’d guess bus is not very good for similar reasons. The train is good but until the CRL comes online it is very limited and frustratingly slow.

    Good luck to anyone who thinks they can buy on the city outskirts and commute. The only viable option is to remote work and / or move to another city or town in my view.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind those Herald…,

    All of these property stories are just click bait to help out the advertising department at the Herald. I use Ben Torkington’s Chrome extension and it identifies the source of click bait stories. These ones just get labelled property.

    What I dislike about the property stories is that when it matter no real investigation is done. Fletcher Building said in February that their profit forecasts were correct. A matter of weeks later they did a write down of more than 100m.

    We never got anything really from the Herald on how such a thing could happen. It is hinted at reasons in other stories but property advertisers are one of the few remaining “rivers of gold” left from the classified department.

    For the past couple of years I have been ignoring the home page and hoping there are some useful stories in the business or tech sections. Really hard to find any content in the Herald that is useful to me. Stuff looks to be worse and so the StuffME merger discussions continue.

    I was at my local Foursquare yesterday when they were closing up. They had dozens of newspapers they were trashing. Even offered me a free one. I declined.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The long road to Hit and Run,

    I hope the information in the book is credible enough to initiate an independent inquiry. What I suspect is needed are enough people to read the book and to pressure their elected politicians.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Broadcasting and the Public Interest,

    I'm curious about how streaming TV has changed the landscape on all of this. My experience over the past 3-4 years is that I have watched more great TV on Netflix than I ever did on broadcast.

    (Coincidentally I had a look at the new TV3 website and it looks to be modelled on the Netflix layouts including look and feel.)

    Partly that is because the programming is wide open - 40yrs + or - of tv programmes to choose from. Being our own programmers is attractive as is being able to serially watch without any advertising has transformed TV into something we like.

    I'm probably a minority audience but it has made broadcast TV pretty much unwatchable with its high percentage of dross and interruption style thinking.

    I did watch TVNZ7 when it was on and it seemed like a good idea at the time - however with the conflicts of interest between various parts of TVNZ I can understand why that didn't work.

    I have spotted a channel on Freeview called Duke which seems to be some kind of TVNZ experiment. It seems like with the Freeview setup it should be easier to launch some other PBS style channels there and have them run by an experienced team from TVNZ.

    It seems like "public service" programming could be made to work if the obvious conflicts of interest were removed.

    I did read somewhere that the total of TVNZ dividends was approaching $100m. Not sure how many years that represented but surely some of that dividend stream could finance a PBS style remit?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Burning down the house to…, in reply to Nick Russell,

    The fatigue is part of the tactic. ’Normalisatio’n and we should resist this. It is much harder to meaningfully do this outside of the U.S but somehow we must.

    This from a longer piece Against Normalization: The Lesson of the “Munich Post” By Ron Rosenbaum

    Democracy destroying itself democratically. By November 1932, his party had become the largest faction in the Reichstag, though not a majority. After that election though, it looked as if he’d passed his peak: his total vote had gone down. It looked like the right-wing parties had been savvy in bringing him in and “normalizing” him, making him a figurehead for their own advancement.
    Instead, it was truly the stupidest move made in world politics within the memory of mankind. It took only a few months for the hopes of normalization to be crushed.

    What is interesting is that the repeal of the Obamacare / ACA act has pretty much stopped because there is no actual replacement. Throwing out all of the previous admins policies is easy to say – when campaigning but much harder to achieve when in power.

    We need some more moments of truth when the voters realise the emperor has no clothes ( T has no bathrobe) and they need a real plan.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Taking the stage in Mount Albert, in reply to Mr Mark,

    73% of Green Party-Voters backed Shearer

    I wonder how many of those voters were former Labour Party voters. I live in Mt Albert and I voted for Shearer (electorate) and for the Green Party. I previously voted Labour.

    I rate Jacinda and think it would be great for her to have an electorate seat in the bigger picture. I think other Green party supporters will do the same.

    I would like the Labour party to come out with some policy of interest even if it means swiping it from the Gareth Morgan think tank.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years, in reply to andin,

    Thanks Andin,

    Business people at the top of the foodchain are deciding to throw their employees under the bus for all sorts of reasons including greed.

    We want the benefits of technology but now that it is services automation and not just products the interplay is much more complex.

    Part of this is the way that politicians and the public are being talked to and about in terms of GDP and productivity.

    We live in a time when GDP is not the best way to measure quality of life or even things like clean air and clean water.

    If we valued clean water as much as I think we should we would just shut down huge chunks of the dairy sector until we had solved those problems for example.

    I’m thinking of some of the work done by Hazel Henderson and others. And dare I say it ethical markets and ethical thinking.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years, in reply to WH,

    Thanks - Davenport does mention some of that.

    "It’s true that previous waves of automation didn’t decrease employment over the long run. Economists once had a term, the “Luddite fallacy,” for those who believed that advancing technology eliminated human jobs. But now many economists, including Larry Summers, are concerned that the previous pattern won’t be repeated in this round of automation. Nevertheless, no politician wants to be viewed as a Luddite. It’s yet another reason not to speak out about the threat of job loss from automation."

    As for the Chinese Mercantilism (thanks for that link) - I understand that impulse completely. The article you referred to though also mentions IP theft on a large scale costing the US up to $50b. The Chinese want fairer standards for foreign direct investment rather than just being seen as a low cost producer.

    Fair enough. I can remember meeting some US Telco companies in the 80's and 90's who viewed NZ and every other country as a place to exploit. NZ has in comparative terms got smarter on that count but it is not surprising that the "rising middle class" in Indonesia , India and China might want something different for their futures.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

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