Who to blame, and what to do with the economy

December 22nd, 2008 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The set of economic forecasts inherited from were bad enough reading last week. But then on Friday, I noticed that Finance Minister Bill English said that the economy is already nearly at Treasury’s worst-case scenario.

So how bad is the now likely worst case scenario:

  • Unemployment peaks at 7.5% in mid 2010
  • Economy contracts in year to March 2010 as well as March 2009
  • deficits of $32 billion from 2009 to 2013 – averaging greater than $8 billion a year
  • Gross debt to increase from $35 billion to $82 billion over four years – a $47 billion increase
  • Net debt to increase from $6 billion to $54 billion
  • Gross debt as % of GDP to go from under 20% to 39% in four years, and to 76% by 2023

This is a worse outlook than Labour left in 1990. And you can’t even compare to the 1999 PREFU which was:

  • Operating Balances growing to almost $2.5 billion
  • net debt falling from 22% to 18%
  • Economic growth of over 3% a year
  • Unemployment to reduce from 7% to 5.7% over two years

Cullen was left with a wonderful set of projections.

So the next few years are going to be a disaster in fiscal terms. So who is at fault? Well of course the main responsibility is the global credit crisis – that goes without saying. But why are our fiscal fortunes so fragile, than a crisis such as this fucks our economy for the next decade or more? Let’s look at some of the possible culprits.

National’s

If anyone blames the deficits and debts on National’s tax cuts, then they are incompetent or lying. The tax cuts were 99% funded from changes to , and other expenditure savings. They have no impact on the deficit or debt.

In fact National’s tax cuts are (in hindsight) an even better idea than when first mooted? Why? Because they contribute towards a total fiscal stimulus package of 5% of GDP – this is one of the largest in the OECD and may help soften the recession.

But even better, the tax cuts are not funded from cutting current spending (which would detract from the stimulus) but by reducing subsidies into KiwiSaver which would lock the money up for decades.

We’ll come back to the issue of KiwiSaver.

Labour’s tax cuts

So how about Labour’s tax cuts? Is all this fiscal doom and gloom because Labour finally gave in and delivered tax cuts? Well it is certainly true that Dr Cullen has indicated he would have not cut taxes to the extent he did, based on PREFU’s numbers. And many people suspect Labour, if re-elected, would have cancelled some or all of their tax cuts.

The cost of Labour’s tax cuts over four years is $10.8 billion. So yes, if Labour did not cut taxes at all in their nine years of office, then the fiscal situation would be slightly better. Of course taxpayers would be worse off, but who cares about them!

But compare that $10.8 billion to OBEGAL deficits of over $30 billion and an increase in debt of almost $50 billion.  If Labour had not delivered tax cuts (and had not spent the money saved – a big if), it would have somewhat improved the fiscal outlook, but left households worse off, and made the recession worse.

Labour’s tax cuts were equivalent to a one off $3.3 reduction in taxation – the only personal tax reduction in nine years, where taxation went from $32 billion to $57 billion.  It is probably the most modest tax reduction program in the western world.

Labour’s Spending

What has really left us with a massive problem, isn’t Labour finally doing a $3.3 billion annual tax cut, but the massive increases in annual expenditure.

Expenditure has increased from $34 billion per year to $57 billion. That is a $23 billion hike – or seven times as great as the belated tax cuts.

Now of course some of this is necessary increases – even Sir Roger advocates you should increase spending in line with inflation and population growth. But off memory that is still $18 billion a year in extra spending.

And this is the problem Labour has left us. They massively increased spending in non-essential areas, on the assumption that we would have record growth and surpluses forever. They didn’t just keep funding and improving existing programmes (schools, hospitals) but they invented new schemes. Now these schemes were arguably good things – but they were funded based on an assumption of growth and surpluses. And together they combine to remove flexibility from future Governments.

Let us look, at just three of them:

The Cullen Fund

The Cullen Fund was based on a premise that as we are going to have surpluses for the next 30 years, then we should save some of those surpluses to meet the future cost of superannuation, so we won’t have to borrow money in the future.

The fatal flaw was always the assumption about surpluses, but as the years went on and they continued unabated, the opposition to the Fund diminished, and even National signed up to it.

But we are now in a very different situation. We have a structural deficit, and face massive borrowing for at least a decade.

So the Cullen Fund is now based on borrowing heaps of money today, so we do not have to borrow heaps of money in 25 years? Anyone else see the fatal flaw? Borrowing money to save money is the sort of stuff that cuased the credit crisis.

The Government should seriously consider suspending contributions to the Cullen Fund. We can’t save money we do not have.

KiwiSaver

KiwiSaver has much the same problem as the Cullen Fund. It is all well and good to help subsidise people’s savings, but not if the taxpayer is having to borrow money to do so.

Because who is going to have to pay back and pay the interest on all that borrowing? Those same savers. So once again we have the stupidity of borrowing money today, to help people save. That is not sustainable.

I like KiwiSaver. If we were going to continue with record surpluses, it would be great to have a scheme which provides massive incentives for people to save. But we don’t. Does anyone think Labour would in 2009 have announced the KiwiSaver subsidies they did in 2007? Of course not.

National has wisely already cut the cost of taxpayer subsidies to KiwiSaver. Arguably they need to go further and also look at whether the employee subsidy is affordable. If we need to borrow to find it, then it isn’t.

You see the employer matching contribution is a 1:1 subsidy already, which is massive. Hell most people are happy to get a 10% return on investment and the employer contribution gets you an instant 100% return. Now the employee subsidy gets you a further 100% return, so those earning up to $52,000 get a 2:1 subsidy or a 200% return on investment.

Unless the fiscal fortune improves, maybe the employee subisdy has to go also. Sure that means only a 100% return instead of a 200% return, but that is a lot better than the standard 10% return and I doubt it would discourage people going into KiwiSaver. Maybe raise the employer contribution rate to a maximum 3% so the total saved isn’t decreased.

Working for Families

This is another major spending commitment that falls into the category of unaffordable with hindsight. Basically whenever Labour had spare cash they hoovered it up into this targeted welfare assistance programme. And now taxpayers are going to have to borrow billions of dollars to fund this programme.

Unlike the other two programmes though, this one can’t be easily reformed. Families have grown used to having the extra cash, and in the midst of a recession, it would be quite wrong to take the money off them.

But what does need to be done, is some medium-term work on a better tax and welfare system that has less tax churn.

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129 Responses to “Who to blame, and what to do with the economy”

  1. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    “This is another major spending commitment that falls into the category of unaffordable with hindsight. Basically whenever Labour had spare cash they hoovered it up into this targeted welfare assistance programme. And now taxpayers are going to have to borrow billions of dollars to fund this programme.”

    One mans “targeted welfare assistance programme” is another mans wealth redistribution.

    Wealth redistribution is a corner stone of any just civilisation and something that no caring society can do without, the very idea that a man who earns 150k per year should pay the same tax rate as those earning 60k is evil, all earnings over 100k should be taxed at around the 60% level and that money should then be channeled back to those who have the least.

    [DPF: You think if you tax people at 60%, they’ll stay in NZ? Good luck with your Cubanomics]

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  2. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    1) Blame. Labour for squandering the good years.
    2) What to do. Reduce government outflows and increase goverment efficiencies – leave more cash in the taxpayers pockets where you can.

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  3. Brian Smaller (4,025 comments) says:

    The government is in the invidious position of having to try to keep confidence up while trying to deal with what is going to be a major crisis. If there is a smaller pie, then everyone will have to eat less. They need to take a page out of Labour’s propoganda book and start laying the reality of the situation on the line to New Zealanders.

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  4. jacob van hartog (300 comments) says:

    What a tired rambling load of rubbish. Really, you should have spent more time in your economics classes

    [DPF: This comes from the man unable to actually write a line in rebuttal. Well 20 demerits for playing the man, not the ball]

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  5. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    What a tired rambling load of rubbish. Really, you should have spent more time in your economics classes

    Perhaps you should have. What he’s saying is that the free market must be allowed to be free (not some choked, throttled back, socialist version of free market) in order for NZ to trade out of the mess and avoid future crisis of a similar type.

    And the companies and people who prosper over the coming years will do exactly that – adapt

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  6. reid (16,633 comments) says:

    Excellent post DPF. Let’s hope the MSM take your lead and use their influence to also start a detailed debate on the way the ground rules have recently changed and what that means for new directions.

    The last thing the nation needs is for such a debate to be politicised, that would merely obfuscate the issues which in my view are in magnitude the most serious to hit us since WWII.

    Neither of these things will happen of course.

    Viking2 had some good ideas on the Cabinet Committee post, I suggest those interested might like to review.

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  7. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    and, not surprisingly, the people who adapt and prosper will be slandered and called “rich pricks” by Labour at the next election.

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  8. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Have none of you noticed that capitalism seems to be failing miserably?

    [DPF: Capitalism is like democracy – imperfect but a whole lot better than the alternatives]

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  9. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Have the other 3 wine thieves been fingered yet? Substandard posters down in numbers?

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  10. jacob van hartog (300 comments) says:

    Do I detect a certain ennui now that they have won the election.

    So far they cant seem to run parliament, are made fools of by a certain Fijian Commodore, and stopped a foreign owned business from being sold to another foreign owner.

    Quell horreur, the voters wanted labour lite, and they got One flew over the cukkoos nest

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  11. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Oh we are the precious little middle class champagne socialist aren’t we jacob?

    How are the wine thieves and the activist groups? All roads lead to and from the substandard Labour research unit.

    Quell horreur – pretentious little gutter snipe. Soy Lattes and Marlboro Lites all around what!

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  12. wreck1080 (3,961 comments) says:

    We maybe be heading into the great depression v2.0.

    Unemployment at 10% or more? Possibly.

    NZ seems mostly ok so far, but how can this continue when so many of our trading partners are semi-paralysed.

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  13. jacob van hartog (300 comments) says:

    My lattes are made with peacocks milk, only trouble the peacocks have fearsome claws

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  14. reid (16,633 comments) says:

    Ron Paul has made some aposite observations about the US bailout. As you may know he’s an objector to fiat money as am I.

    People talk about toxic assets, but the real toxicity in our economy comes from the neo-alchemy practiced by the Federal Reserve System. Just as alchemists of the past frequently poisoned themselves with the lead or mercury they were trying to turn to gold, today’s bankers are poisoning the economy with accelerated fiat money creation.

    Reverting global currencies including NZ’s to a gold or silver standard is a change that should not be overlooked in this debate.

    As Thoraeu said: There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

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  15. Frank (320 comments) says:

    The situation will not clarify, until Marsh 2009 when we see the outcome of the proposed bail outs.

    Even John Key has it wrong when he says Australia’s commodity prices are weakening. There is a strong Asian demand for Australia’s commodities which will pull Australia’s commodity sector out of the present depressed prices. Seeking parity with Australia’s wage structure is simply wishful thinking.

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  16. teppic (9 comments) says:

    But even better, the tax cuts are not funded from cutting current spending (which would detract from the stimulus) but by reducing subsidies into KiwiSaver which would lock the money up for decades.

    You seem to think that the KiwiSaver providers are stuffing the cash under a giant mattress somewhere. The money is not “locked up”. It’s invested in real businesses.

    So the Cullen Fund is now based on borrowing heaps of money today, so we do not have to borrow heaps of money in 25 years?

    No. The fund is based on saving heaps of money today. Don’t you get annoyed when some Labour droid accuses National of “Borrowing to fund tax cuts”?

    KiwiSaver has much the same problem as the Cullen Fund. It is all well and good to help subsidise people’s savings, but not if the taxpayer is having to borrow money to do so.

    Because who is going to have to pay back and pay the interest on all that borrowing? Those same savers. So once again we have the stupidity of borrowing money today, to help people save. That is not sustainable.

    There’s that “borrowing to fund tax cuts” nonsense again. Do you realise that you’re arguing against a tax incentive to save? Nothing is being borrowed here, the saver just has to pay less tax.

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  17. Dazzaman (1,145 comments) says:

    Wealth redistribution is a corner stone of any just civilisation and something that no caring society can do without, the very idea that a man who earns 150k per year should pay the same tax rate as those earning 60k is evil, all earnings over 100k should be taxed at around the 60% level and that money should then be channeled back to those who have the least.

    What a funny thing it is that some people still think like this!

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  18. JamesP (77 comments) says:

    Add National’s unwillingness to make any substantial spending cuts to that list. It is all very well pinning the blame for $10 billion+ / year of low quality spending on Labour but if you are going to continue spending and borrow massively to pay for it then you are to blame too.

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  19. KiwiGreg (3,259 comments) says:

    I think they should look at raising the national superannuation eligibility age, not necessarily in the near term – say start bumping it to 68 from 2018 in 3mth/p.a lots. That will help reduce the actuarial shortfall in the fund while also ensuring that people are more incentivised to save for their own retirement.

    Also the government should completeley get out of the EQC “backstop” insurance over the next couple of years – there’s $5b sitting in that fund which could be transferred into the super fund as a sort of accounting fix up.

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  20. Dazzaman (1,145 comments) says:

    Have none of you noticed that capitalism seems to be failing miserably?

    No r thscargill, its failures can probably be pinpointed mainly to covert communist infiltrators like yourself scraping the cream from the top while curdling the rest of the bottle of milk. :smile:

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  21. Inventory2 (10,427 comments) says:

    Without being overly anal jacob, it’s actually “quelle surprise” – but then why would we expect anything accurate from your keyboard?

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  22. Brian Smaller (4,025 comments) says:

    “Have none of you noticed that capitalism seems to be failing miserably?”

    The problem mostly comes from the US where banks were forced by Democrats and people like Obama to lend money to people who couldn’t afford the repayments. Over 90% of Americans CAN and DO pay their mortgages. Capitalism worked fine for them.

    Wealth redistribution is a recipe for disaster. Your policy means taking a cake and cutting it into ever smaller pieces. Capitalism means baking more cakes.

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  23. Mike Readman (365 comments) says:

    Calm down everybody! Bollard says NZ’s out of its recession, and look how much money the National government’s paying him. He must be right!

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  24. KiwiGreg (3,259 comments) says:

    And “Arthur Scargill” wealth CREATION is the cornerstone of any civilisation.

    One fundamental difference between the left and the right is the left are obsessed with cutting the cake and the right think that people should be allowed to bake cakes of any size they can. But at the end of the say SOMEONE has to bake the cake.

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  25. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,753 comments) says:

    Scrap Bludging for Families before the IMF makes Bill scrap whole lot more besides when New Zealand falls on its ass.

    Not that a little IMF pain wouldn’t be character building for New Zealand.

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  26. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    What is truly disgusting is that some lefties are LOVING the worlds economic distress.

    Mike R, NZ could well be out of the recession. The recognition of recessions, as well as their eventual end, are misjudged by the general public most of the time. One simple reason is that the bad news keeps on coming and few people realise that it is on a significant lag.

    The start of a recession and it end in the US is picked by the NBER, and even they only do it a year or more after the fact.

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  27. reid (16,633 comments) says:

    We’ll get better ideas coming through this thread if we step away from left-right politics and look objectively at the economics.

    Globally, the cause of the current symptoms is lack of inter-bank lending confidence and the reason for all the bailouts all round the world, is because the stability of the banking sector is critical to capitalism. Problem is that these solutions currently aren’t having any discernible alleviating effect and in addition, they pose a great risk of undermining structural foundations leading to possibilities of stagflation or worse, hyper-inflation.

    Domestically we’ll get no relief until that inter-bank lending problem is fixed since we depend on trade so the question is really how do we trade our way out of this notwithstanding all of our partners are suffering what looks like up to a decade of long-term pain. Luckily we’re so small we can concentrate on tiny niches that wouldn’t by themselves support larger economies and IMO we should be fully focused on identifying those and gearing ourselves up to exploit them. Why don’t we start paying attention to what the world’s most successful investors such as Jim Rogers are saying and look at those areas. He’s got large investments in China and Taiwan in water treatment, agriculture and energy for example. Those are all likely growth areas which we are fully capable of expanding into.

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  28. reid (16,633 comments) says:

    Lala and Mathew Hooten are currently debating suspending the contributions to the Cullen Fund on radio leftwing. Worth listening to but unfortunately entirely predictable reactions from both Lala and Ryan to the suggestion.

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  29. jacob van hartog (300 comments) says:

    Thats a bit tough DPF, I dont have the national party research unit to feed me the numbers.

    But even so you are overegging the current numbers when you say we are allready ‘at the worst case’ . No the unemployment is NOT now at 7.5%, the last tax results showed the government accounts in surplus STILL.

    And my comments about economics classes was meant to emphasis the limitations of economic models that use statistics of past events

    [DPF: And another 20 demerits for your implication that this was not all my own work. You are a slow learner.]

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  30. Viking2 (11,565 comments) says:

    I feel an acute case of Rogernomics coming on. wow good. Bill ain’t got the necessary, he is a right wing Cullen.

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  31. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    “And “Arthur Scargill” wealth CREATION is the cornerstone of any civilisation”

    And wealth is created by the workers therefore they deserve a far bigger share of the pie they create.

    Lets face it, the capitalist system does not work, free market fools and capitalists blame everybody else for its failings yet they are the first to run back to the working mans government for a hand out to keep your precious capitalist system going.

    The only way to ensure that we do not continue to have these meltdowns is for the market and business in general to be heavily regulated, we simply cannot allow the parasites to keep teasing low income people with home loans that they struggle to repay in tougher times.
    A fairer society would see low income workers paid a decent wage and offered mortgages by the state or reputable fincancial institutions whose management is not encouraged to shaft people in order to receive their huge bonuses.

    [DPF: If capitalism does not work, who are you getting Internet access through?]

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  32. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    jacob is an obvious time wasting socialist troll

    where do these freaks keep coming from?

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  33. baxter (893 comments) says:

    THSCARGILL:………….So which side tore down the Berlin Wall or aren’t you old enough to remember. Where would you prefer to live the idyllic Socialist regime of North Korea or the hard working thriving Capitalist territory of South Korea.

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  34. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Did anyone watch that BBC adaptation of Oliver Twist last night? I liked that Workhouse in London – a fine example of the unfettered labour market in action. The orphans can’t afford their own clothes or food, so it’s only right that the orphans belong to us, for providing them with those things out of the goodness of our capitalist hearts. Beautiful! What more proof could you need that free markets are the shining light and the *ONLY* way to a just society?

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  35. KiwiGreg (3,259 comments) says:

    So you prefer a work of fiction to the real world examples. Of course free markets and democratic societies are the ONLY way to a just society. Just take a look around you. Maybe travel.

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  36. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg – you are not seriously saying that Dickens dreamed up the workhouse out of his own sick imagination, and that nothing like that ever REALLY happened?

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  37. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Did anyone watch that BBC adaptation of Oliver Twist last night? I liked that Workhouse in London – a fine example of the unfettered labour market in action. The orphans can’t afford their own clothes or food, so it’s only right that the orphans belong to us, for providing them with those things out of the goodness of our capitalist hearts. Beautiful! What more proof could you need that free markets are the shining light and the *ONLY* way to a just society?

    You are hilarious Ratbiter. What right wing commenter on this blog has ever advocated that kind of behaviour?

    I think you should try stepping into my father’s shoes for a minute. He’s a small employer, and he has worked sixteen hour days since he was in his early twenties. He’s still doing it now, and he’s sixty. You want to know the three reasons why he still has to turn up to a job he hates?

    1. Useless employees who are impossible to get rid of because of disgusting Socialist employment laws. They have dragged him down for years, while I’ve watched his shoulders stoop and his hair turn grey and he soldiers on, uncomplaining.
    2. Successive Governments that take away the money that he slaves away for each day, trying to build a better life for my sister and I than the one he’s had. As a slap in the face, they then turn around and give it to thousands of undeserving, layabout wretches who have never, and will never, achieve anything.
    3. If he stops working, he stops earning. Even for a day. He generates ALL the revenue. Nobody pays his “sick” days, or his holiday leave. All the while, dilthy socialist public servants suck away his hard earned cash, taking whatever time off they like.

    People like my father are the reason that you dirty ratshit socialist cocksuckers are able to live in the comfort and security you have come to enjoy. Show some respect.

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  38. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Well SAID, Christopher…….we need more of those hard hitting realities; employers are humans too, with mortgages and wives and children; not “class enemies”, or a bottomless ATM to be milked. Not for nothing do the Ayn Randers refer to business people as “The New Jews”.

    Ratbiter, in the days of Charles Dickens, how much wealth was there to be “shared around”? Where has the extra wealth come from in the meantime, like, severall times as much wealth; to enable us to look after the poorest people so much better?

    Oh, I know, you are going to tell me that Free Markets and Capitalism had nothing to do with it, it was Trade Unions, minimum working standards laws, and income redistribution……..

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  39. chfr (126 comments) says:

    To our lefties, how many of you have visited that socialist paradise of Cuba???

    Sure they have a great health system and state owned housing but here is the rub, you have no choice of where you live. The end result is that the country is literally crumbling as people do not care about repairing their housing, why should they as they don’t own it and will have no chance of doing so.

    You see whether you like it or not if you have to pay for it you tend to take care of it. Why else do you have such a disparity between the state of state housing and privately owned housing in the same suburb.

    It is all about pride and your ideas are all about removing that pride and making us all the lowest common denominator. Ratbiter, Jacob and the new numpty if you like the poor so much and believe in wealth distribution then please advise me when the local poor will be moving in with you.

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  40. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    “Do you really want to push the people who support the lower 40% out of the country? Then take the money they work for away from them to give to others without their consent. ”

    What rubbish, the lower 40% of the country support those who earn the inflated wages and salaries for they are the ones who do the real work, they are the men who slave for the minimum wage while the bosses get richer and fatter off the back of the working man.
    You talk about fairness yet you do not advocate it, if you were really interested in a fair society then you would pay the workers more.

    “They earned it”

    Bullshit, how can the CEO of Telecom “earn” three million a year.

    “They get to decide how to spend it.”

    And so they should up to the level of 100K, everything after than they should look at as a social dividend and the bonus for the real workers.

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  41. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    “To our lefties, how many of you have visited that socialist paradise of Cuba???

    Sure they have a great health system and state owned housing but here is the rub, you have no choice of where you live. The end result is that the country is literally crumbling as people do not care about repairing their housing, why should they as they don’t own it and will have no chance of doing so.”

    Ah yes, the country is literally crumbling because the USA continues to boycott, what are the Yankees so worried about?

    Surely the “great” USA capitalist system should not be afraid of a country that has great health care and state housing.

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  42. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    To continue developing the theme of my argument to Ratbiter, one of the commonest errors of historical judgement is to apply today’s standards and conditions to past times when things were completely different. Angus Maddison’s huge book, “Monitoring The World Economy; a Milennial Perspective”, is an extremely illuminating work.

    From the year 1000 to the year 1700, scarcely any economic growth occurred. The development of modern systems of finance are possibly the single biggest factor in the exponential rates of economic growth since then.

    But look at how many people died at childbirth, or before 5 years old, or before 30 years old; or in a famine or a plague; look at how much wealth there was to go around, at any stage in history. We decry slavery, with our modern standards of judgement, yet hundreds of years ago, wealth was so limited that the option was, for many people much of the time, either dying of starvation, or working for someone in return for food; that person who you worked for in return for food simply did not have the wealth to actually pay what modern people would call a reasonable wage. The sharing around of the economic cake meant, because the cake was so small, that for the most, merely surviving was a plus.

    Welcome to North Korea, year 2008. Well DONE, Socialism.

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  43. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Oh, come ON, Cuba has a “great health system”?????????

    Who says so?

    If you haven’t heard of the term, “Potemkin Village”, Google it now.

    Oh, and try doing a bit of investigative journalism in Cuba to determine whether the regime is telling the truth or not, and see where it gets you.

    Faaaaaak, I don’t know why we still need to bother with this sort of half-wittedness, there have always been quisling scum in the free Western world who were prepared to trot out the Commies propaganda all the while people were being killed off en mass and starving to death and being deprived of all the basics including basic medicines. Like, someone in Cuba who has a headache can just get an aspirin just as easy as we can?

    We need to get some balls in the Free western world, rehabilitate McCarthy, and start deporting some of these quislings to the countries that they write up in such glowing terms. Guess what happened to most of the dim-witted Commie supporters in the West who actually walked the walk in the 1930’s and since, and went to live in their chosen utopias? Oh, of course, no-one knows about that, that is all part of the history that is conveniently written out by the Lefties who dominate education and the MSM.

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  44. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    r thscargill (6) 0 2 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    “Do you really want to push the people who support the lower 40% out of the country? Then take the money they work for away from them to give to others without their consent. ”

    “What rubbish, the lower 40% of the country support those who earn the inflated wages and salaries for they are the ones who do the real work, they are the men who slave for the minimum wage while the bosses get richer and fatter off the back of the working man….”

    Soooooo, explain to me, please, why, when everyone in North Korea works so hard, they are not as well-off (actually, that is far too mild) as people in countries where they get to be “exploited” by bosses who get richer and richer on the proceeds of their work? Why, in the country where there are no bosses getting richer and richer, are the people about equivalent in well-being, to slaves in 1800 Virginia?

    DUH. DUH. DUH. What IS it about Socialists brains and faculties?

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  45. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Mr Best

    Please remind me how wonderful the capitalist system is again, you may not have noticed but there seems to be a bit of a melt down happening.
    While you are at it can you please tell me why such a great system sees so many homeless or living in trailer parks?

    Your response is typical of the “me first” capitalist system, who gives a shit about the rest just as long as you are alright.

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  46. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Back to the thread topic, there are outright Communist countries, and then there are “mixed” economies of which Sweden is held up as a glowing example. Well……they just cut Company Tax to 25%, in Sweden.

    The rule of thumb is that the bigger the State in terms of the overall economy, the lower your long term economic growth will be. There are numerous factors that need to be considered in overall economic performance for a given period. How well off was the country anyway, at the start of the period, and what cultural advantages did they possess? What we see with Sweden, is a country that was one of the richest in the world anyway, that gained through World War 2 by not doing any fighting and by supplying all participants with armaments. We see a nation with probably the greatest social capital in term of personal responsibility and work ethics. It has taken decades to squander those advantages, but Sweden has eventually had to confront the rule of thumb above, that the size of their State is just too big.

    Poor old NZ has likewise squandered the advantages it had at one time.

    We simply do not have the benefit of an example of an true “Capitalist” economy in which the size of the State has been kept to below, say, 10%. It is certain that economic growth rates of 10% per annum and more, would be sustainanable indefinitely.

    I suggest that one of the major factors in the current economic crash, is that government interference and taxation has distorted the whole incentive structure so much, that there has simply not been enough economic growth and real wealth created through work and production, and what is more, all the incentives, fiscal and monetary and moral (post-Christianity) have been for “Alladdin’s Lamp” type get-rich-quick schemes and beliefs in the same. Wall Street ceased to be “handmaiden to industry” which is what it should be and in which role it is an integral part of growth. But all the notions flying around about the creation of wealth out of nothing, disconnected from work and production, were not so much a legacy of capitalism as a legacy of the simultaneous trashing of the very concepts of the value of work and production by Socialist politics and post-Christian “ethics” and by the finance cowboys themselves operating in that framework of Socialist politics and post-Christian ethics.

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  47. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Oh, Mr Cargill,

    “please tell me why such a great system sees so many homeless or living in trailer parks?”

    How many people? And how many of those are the fault of Free country capitalism?

    Like, in Wellington, we have the Blanket Man and a few other celebrated types. What does Capitalism have to do with them being homeless? OK, there aren’t any people like them in North Korea or Cuba. That is a factor of our respective freedom to do what we like, not our respective systems of wealth sharing. In North Korea or Cuba, Ben Hanna (the blanket man) would have died in a Work camp 20 years ago.

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  48. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    “Poor old NZ has likewise squandered the advantages it had at one time”

    Yeah, its so bad that even Bill English has said that NZ is in the best shape of any nation in the world to weather the economic storm.

    Really, you guys are so blinded by idealogical hatred that you refuse to see the truth, Dr Cullen has left our economy in great shape, English should be man enough to admit that and be man enough to consult Dr Cullen as often as possible, Dr Cullen only wants what is best for the people of NZ and would be more than happy to offer his advice.

    The problem with English and Key is that they are more interested in making sure their mates are the ones who get rich rather than the average worker.

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  49. reid (16,633 comments) says:

    .

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  50. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Mr Best

    I get it now, all those who are homeless in the USA do so by choice do they?

    How about the fact that a high percentage of these homeless men are Vietnam vets, remember them?, these are the same Vets that right wing idiots like to champion when they start their illegal wars yet toss aside so easily when they no longer need them.

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  51. Brian Smaller (4,025 comments) says:

    r thscargill – are you terminaly stupid? Cuba has a great health system? I imagine you got all your info from Mikhael Moore the guy who got really fat and rich off morons such as yourself.

    As to Bill English – he is the Finance Minister. He has to talk up the economy. Would you rather he was advising people to jump out of windows now? You are as you put it, so blinded by ideological hatred that you cannot see the truth.

    You talk about the average worker. What do you do for a living? Isuspect you have never had a real job in your life. I work – I AM AN average worker.

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  52. reid (16,633 comments) says:

    scargill you’re not a uni student are ya? It’s just you display remarkable naivity and profound ignorance all at the same time. For example:

    “And so they should up to the level of 100K, everything after than they should look at as a social dividend and the bonus for the real workers.”

    So who are “real workers” scargill? Is it people who do the product design, marketing and selling or is it just those who actually produce the goods. What about people in an organisation who design and run vital support services like legal, finance, accounting, IT, HR and property management? Are they all workers too?

    On top of all of this of course you know that organisations of any kind don’t operate without leaders. Otherwise people simply munt around and baa like sheep, accomplishing nothing.

    Step outside of organisations and you have the professions – the myriad specialised consultants who offer everything that organisations and individuals choose not to provide in-house. Imagine if lawyers didn’t exist to do conveyancing for example and it was up to the individual to write their own S&P agreement, or imagine doctors didn’t exist and people had to rely on their partner to give them a quick triple-bypass lest they die.

    All of these VITAL support functions exist only because over time their prices have been determined by a principle you probably haven’t heard of called supply and demand. It’s not perfect but overall it allows these functions to generate and flourish.

    If all these things are constrained by rewards determined other than by that principle, their quality and availability will decline, with all the attendant consequences.

    Fuck I can’t believe I’m wasting my breath explaining this. I suggest scargill you volunteer to be the first to donate your entire income to “the workers” in order to lead the way toward the brave new world. Forgive the rest of us if we don’t immediately follow.

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  53. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Mr Best

    I get it now, all those who are homeless in the USA do so by choice do they?

    How about the fact that a high percentage of these homeless men are Vietnam vets, remember them?, these are the same Vets that right wing idiots like to champion when they start their illegal wars yet toss aside so easily when they no longer need them.

    You fucking pricks make me so furious, I’m actually going to turn off the computer and go for a walk.

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  54. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Reid

    These “leaders” you prattle on about, care to tell me just how you can justify a salary in excess of $3 million for the “leader” of Telecom when they run what amounts to a monopoly?

    There is nothing wrong with having leaders however these leaders should be elected by their fellow workers, privilege and the class system ensure that our current “leaders” are mostly from the same class and the same privileged backgrounds.

    I love that way you guys resort to abuse so easily, the frustration level you must be experiencing as your beloved system collapses around you is obviously taking its toll.

    [DPF: It is justified because the Directors couldn’t find anyone skilled to do the job, willing to do it for less]

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  55. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    “I love that way you guys resort to abuse so easily, ”

    When young, ignorant, idealistic, sanctimonious socialists get online and start spouting the same, tired old rhetoric of an economic system, that has failed everywhere it has ever been tried, as if it some new miracle cure they have just discovered, we take it as an insult to everyones intelligence.

    Go read some older threads where other simple-minded socialists get completely destroyed and save someone the effort of having to do it to you again here.

    +1 to reid’s call on you being a “student”. Remember, persistence does not make up for ignorance or arrogance.

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  56. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Socialism has failed in Norway, Sweden etc?…well thats news to me.

    The system that has failed people is capitalism, the only problem is that you guys refuse to see or admit it.

    A high tax high wage economy is the only way to go, give the working man a fair go and ask those who earn far more than they need to contribute more to the country.

    Only when we eliminate the “have nots” will we start to address the other problems in our society, it is worth remembering that all of the problems we currently experience can be directly attributed to the regimes of Douglas and Richardson, I would bet that most here did well out of that era and as such want to see it again for their own personal greed, meanwhile thousands will be tossed on the scrapheap all in the name of the failed free market system.

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  57. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Scargill:

    “…….Really, you guys are so blinded by idealogical (sic) hatred that you refuse to see the truth, Dr Cullen has left our economy in great shape…….”

    Oh, so it’s my ideological hatred that makes all those figures on the various forecasts for the next decade, look like deficits and look like a bad thing?

    Can you grasp this reality:

    The one most meaningful statistic concerning a country’s future prospects, is the rate of increase in productivity. In 1999, in NZ, it was at a record high. It is now at a record low.

    Mismanaging the economy into recession, is “leaving the economy in great shape”?

    I actually have said since months before the election, that the people of NZ deserve to have the socialists continue on in power if they are not prepared to elect a responsible government, one that does not have to swallow a whole lot of dead rats and promise to continue ruinous socialist policies so as to get elected.

    You know what? Do you think we would have found out about the true state of the country’s finances had the Heleban clung to power again? Socialists are all the same, they lie and cheat, and the only thing the people can actually go by, is when things get so bad that essential commodities start to become unavailable, like in Venezuela and of course all the other various hapless countries that got into the hands of the ilk of Hugo Chavez before him.

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  58. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    r thscargill (12) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating1 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    “Socialism has failed in Norway, Sweden etc?…well thats news to me…….”

    Well, it would be, wouldn’t it?

    Welcome to information flows controlled by soft Lefty journalists and educators.

    Is a cut in company tax to 25%, a victory for good old fashioned socialist principles?

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  59. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    I suggest we ignore Arthur as he’s just being deliberately disruptive – like his namesake

    Back to the economy – the good news is we will have to become more efficient and productive –

    – a reduction in the number of civil servants
    – reduction in process
    – simplify RMA
    – no ETS
    – removal of the excesses of welfare state and back to basics
    – etc

    and no ability of the lefties to whinge as people generally get a bit more sensible politically as they become skint

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  60. KiwiGreg (3,259 comments) says:

    I really have to assume that Ratbiter and Scargill are just being ironic, or indulging in some internet-baiting. Surely no one can use a computer and be that stupid/naive/whatever?

    Seriously how do you even begin to have a rational debate with someone who thinks that $100k should be the most you can earn, or that Dickensian workhouses are a relevant example of modern capitalism, or that the US boycott of Cuba is “because the US is afraid”.

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  61. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Scargill:

    “……A high tax high wage economy is the only way to go…….”

    Like Kimble said:

    “……When young, ignorant, idealistic, sanctimonious socialists get online and start spouting the same, tired old rhetoric of an economic system, that has failed everywhere it has ever been tried, as if it some new miracle cure they have just discovered, we take it as an insult to everyones intelligence.

    Go read some older threads where other simple-minded socialists get completely destroyed and save someone the effort of having to do it to you again here……”

    YEAH.

    “…..Only when we eliminate the “have nots” will we start to address the other problems in our society……”

    Do you mean “eliminate”, in the same sense that your idol Fidel Castro would apply it? No?

    Because, guess what, in the real world, you do not eliminate “have nots” by setting up entitlements to a reasonable lifestyle without any requirement to work for it, you merely ensure that so many people will opt for those entitlements, that the whole economic system will collapse like a Ponzi scheme. Even Bernard Madoff has not been anything like as successful a swindler as the peddlers of Socialist policies like those.

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  62. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    r thscargill:

    Your response is typical of the “me first” capitalist system, who gives a shit about the rest just as long as you are alright.

    One day somebody needs to teach you about renumeration versus responsibility.

    It is capitalism that has allowed my family to work it’s way up. As I’m fond of relating, my great grandfather was the equivalent of a ditch digger. My grandfather was a driver on an old steam train. My father became an engineer. And now I’m a software engineer. Hopefully my daughter will go on to be a scientist or a doctor or whatever her heart desires. Capitalism works over generations if people are willing to work, save and plan for their futures and the future of their families.

    The opportunity for growth is there. Now, thanks to the hard work my ancestors have done, I have more opportunities. Hopefully my future generations will have benefit from the opportunities I have created for them. Hopefully they will be in a position to help create opportunities for others – maybe she’ll start up her own company. Who knows? But that is capitalism at work.

    In your socialist workers paradise, that incentive is removed. There is no future, because nobody needs to work towards it. They will all expect to be given it.

    It really is that simple. You and socialism – you are killing our future and our potential.

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  63. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    # KiwiGreg (55) Vote: Add rating1 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    “I really have to assume that Ratbiter and Scargill are just being ironic, or indulging in some internet-baiting. Surely no one can use a computer and be that stupid/naive/whatever?

    Seriously how do you even begin to have a rational debate with someone who thinks that $100k should be the most you can earn, or that Dickensian workhouses are a relevant example of modern capitalism, or that the US boycott of Cuba is “because the US is afraid”.”

    KiwiGreg, what we are confronting here is a tragedy in the form of the NZ education system and the NZ “mainstream” media. It is possible in modern NZ to grow up, indoctrinated in those worldviews by bitter and twisted parents, twisted and ignorant teachers, and go on to Uni and take all the right courses to continue that indoctrination, and move in all the right circles of “People’s Action Networks” and the like and never have those ideas meaningfully challenged by anything you read in the media or by anyone else until you get on Kiwiblog. Even the basically decent masses of people, while not holding those extreme views, simply would not be able to smack them down like we do, never having been properly informed about them.

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  64. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Mr Best

    A cut (temporary I can assure you) in business tax is the price that these healthy, fit and PROSPEROUS socialist nations have to pay for the failure of your glorious capitalist system.

    It does not matter how you guys try and spin this, the failure is yours and yours alone, the so called “free market” has collapsed once again yet you numbskulls refuse to admit it.

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  65. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Where did I say that 100K is the most anybody should earn?

    My point is that earnings over 100K should be taxed at 60%.

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  66. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Come on, Scargill, get your head around this comment I made 1.5 hours ago:

    I suggest that one of the major factors in the current economic crash, is that government interference and taxation has distorted the whole incentive structure so much, that there has simply not been enough economic growth and real wealth created through work and production, and what is more, all the incentives, fiscal and monetary and moral (post-Christianity) have been for “Aladdin’s Lamp” type get-rich-quick schemes and beliefs in the same. Wall Street ceased to be “handmaiden to industry” which is what it should be and in which role it is an integral part of growth. But all the notions flying around about the creation of wealth out of nothing, disconnected from work and production, were not so much a legacy of capitalism as a legacy of the simultaneous trashing of the very concepts of the value of work and production by Socialist politics and post-Christian “ethics” and by the finance cowboys themselves operating in that framework of Socialist politics and post-Christian ethics.

    And: We simply do not have the benefit of an example of a true “Capitalist” economy in which the size of the State has been kept to below, say, 10%. It is certain that economic growth rates of 10% per annum and more, would be sustainable indefinitely.

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  67. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    r thscargil,

    You REALLY dont know what you are talking about, do you?

    Student, for sure. Nice call, Reid.

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  68. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    r thscargill:

    It does not matter how you guys try and spin this, the failure is yours and yours alone

    Who was responsible for the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992?

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  69. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    I suggest that it is unreasonable to blame “capitalism” for a financial crash in nations where the State is 30% or more of the economy, and also controls the money supply and base interest rate; and controls the education system other than for the wealthy few who can afford to opt out.

    It is worth noting that ALL the people who were warning us that this crash was coming, were economists and financial experts from the extreme free market end of the spectrum. Not one of the 16,000 or so government employees in the USA whose jobs it was to keep an eye on things ( on an annual budget of billions of dollars) did anything but make soothing noises and dismiss the people making the warnings, as cranks.

    It is definitely NOT the “free market” advocates who are behind the use of taxpayers money in “bailouts”; these people are actually telling us that this will make things worse and that we need to get back to small government and a gold standard.

    Swallowing the idea that governments printing money, is going to be any sort of solution to a problem that was caused by too much money in circulation chasing a limited supply of assets, in the first place, is all part of the horrendous failure of morals and intellect that is post-Christian socialist education.

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  70. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Mr Best

    I did read your comment of one hour ago and I dismissed it as another example of greed, you moan about government interference as if the capitalist system is one that has no faults and is staffed by those with pure motives, recent history has shown that to be far from the case.

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  71. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Pascal

    “Who was responsible for the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992?”

    Bill Clinton was in charge but you know that. Now who was in charge when loans were made by predatory parasites over the last eight years?

    As usual the good intentions of the left have been ripped off by the right and the free market nutters, how long will it be before you greedy sods accept that it is your greed and your disdain for anybody born outside of privilege that blinds you to the truth.

    Clinton balanced the books, in eight years Bush and his free market fools have seen the world economy crash and the domestic economy tank all in the name of an illegal war and corporate greed (or greedy “leader” if you prefer)
    But hey, as long as those at the top of the tree do not suffer much it does not really matter does it, you might just have to keep that Merc for more than two years before you trade it in for the new model, or failing that you could always just sell one of the four cars you own.

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  72. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    r thscargill (15) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating1 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    “Mr Best

    A cut (temporary I can assure you) in business tax is the price that these healthy, fit and PROSPEROUS socialist nations have to pay for the failure of your glorious capitalist system….”

    Hang on, do you now admit that cutting business taxes will actually do some good, say, for economic growth, in tough times? Why would this be so guaranteed to work in tough times, that it could not also be a good idea all the time? Surely if it is socialism that is responsible for these nations prosperity in the first place, what they need now is more of it, not less of it? Like FDR in the Great Depression, put taxes UP and increased government spending, and “solved” the depression? Well, that is what we are all taught from childhood, is it not?

    Hmmmmm, what if even Sweden has worked out that this is not true?

    Another major, major flaw in your argument, is that the US economy has only just gone into recession, 6 months AFTER NZ and the Eurozone with all those “healthy, prosperous socialist nations”. What gives?

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  73. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    r thscargill:

    I dismissed it as another example of greed

    You are letting your irrational prejudices cloud your thinking. If you are willing to dismiss an argument for emotive reasons without due consideration and understanding, you will never grow and understand the truth of matters.

    Yes, the capitalist system has flaws. And for fear of sounding like a 13 year old in a playground, socialism has more because it removes the very basis of human achievement and drive from people. It is fundamentally flawed.

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  74. reid (16,633 comments) says:

    scargill, if you keep commenting, this might come true….

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  75. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    r thscargill:

    Bill Clinton was in charge but you know that.

    So fundamentally we agree that the current blip was brought on by government interference in the market place? Good. Now that we have established the reason for this problem, do you really think more governmental interference, higher taxation and income redistribution is the way to resolve this?

    You’re pouring piss into the water and claiming it’s my fault it tastes funny.

    Oh, and as to greed? Fuck you. I work 10 to 12 hours a day to earn my living. Greed is on the hands of those who want to take what I have earned away from me to give to others.

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  76. KiwiGreg (3,259 comments) says:

    “Mr Best

    A cut (temporary I can assure you) in business tax is the price that these healthy, fit and PROSPEROUS socialist nations have to pay for the failure of your glorious capitalist system’

    Nope, he is definately just taking the piss.

    Or else just too ignorant to be bothered arguing with.

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  77. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    r thscargill (17) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating1 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    “Who was responsible for the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992?”

    “Bill Clinton was in charge but you know that. Now who was in charge when loans were made by predatory parasites over the last eight years?

    As usual the good intentions of the left have been ripped off by the right and the free market nutters……”

    What side of the political fence was all the calls for reform of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae coming from for the last 8 years, and on what side of the political fence was all the blockages of this occurring? Have you heard of Barney Frank?

    Oh, I just love the bit about “the good intentions of the Left”, that says it all, doesn’t it. There is a fabulous book by one Randal O’Toole called “The Best Laid Plans”, which goes over numerous socialist policies with the best of intentions, that end up causing all sorts of expensive unintended consequences; like driving up the cost of housing and thus rentals; and making existing housing owners wealthy and the younger generations poorer; all the while the Left whinges about declining social mobility, the main cause is government policies forcing the price of houses up.

    Do we have to educate you on how that happens, too, now?

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  78. James (1,338 comments) says:

    “Where did I say that 100K is the most anybody should earn?

    My point is that earnings over 100K should be taxed at 60%.”

    Why? By what right? By what standard? Who has the right to steal that money from the one who earned it and give it to someone who hasn’t?….and how did they get this right to steal when I and others don’t have it?

    A new thieving,socialist parasite has joined us here I see…

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  79. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Pascal

    “socialism has more because it removes the very basis of human achievement and drive from people. It is fundamentally flawed”

    Again I come back to the example of the Scandinavian countries, they have a much higher standard of living than we do yet they seem to be quiet happy with a high tax high wage economy.
    Scandinavian socialism offers chances and opportunities for all, your idea of capitalism means that those who are now at the bottom will always be there.

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  80. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    r thscargill:

    your idea of capitalism means that those who are now at the bottom will always be there

    Tell that to John Key. Or any of the self made millionares in NZ who came from humble beginnings. None of them are at the bottom, although they started out there.

    What’s wrong with you?

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  81. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    John Key, the result of the welfare state!

    This is the very system you applaud for producing Key yet you want to dismantle it and take away the chance for others, perish the thought that you should lose your privilege.

    You guys should really work out your story before posting here.

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  82. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    James, or is it Jimmy?

    “Why? By what right? By what standard? Who has the right to steal that money from the one who earned it and give it to someone who hasn’t?….and how did they get this right to steal when I and others don’t have it?”

    Why?..beacause it is just and a fair way of redistributing wealth.

    By what right?..Its called taxes, those who earn more than they need should pay more if society decides that to be the case, and BTW, its hardly stealing when that income will almost certainly be derived from the toil of others who probably earn no more than the minimum wage.

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  83. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    r thscargill:

    You guys should really work out your story before posting here.

    Are you putting words in my mouth now? I am opposing your call for higher taxation on earnings. We have a sensible welfare state in NZ, I am not disputing that. (Although I do think there are areas where it could be improved)

    But, I’m guessing as a socialist you need to lie to make your point or would that be an erroneous assumption?

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  84. LC (162 comments) says:

    Interesting discussion. However never has it been easier for a worker to get more qualifications (at either very little cost or free), so that they can work themselves up to a better position. It is very easy in NZ to start a business. There’s plenty of opportunity to start small/part time, and then move to full time work.

    Rather than toiling for others, todays modern worker can quickly begin toiling for him/herself.

    What do you toil at scargill?

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  85. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    # r thscargill (17) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating1 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    “Mr Best

    I did read your comment of one hour ago and I dismissed it as another example of greed, you moan about government interference as if the capitalist system is one that has no faults and is staffed by those with pure motives, recent history has shown that to be far from the case.”

    Darn right I moan about government interference, a whole generation of people has grown up so miseducated and so adrift from traditional ethics, that huge numbers of people either expect a living for nothing off the State, or a living for nothing off playing with pieces of paper and speculation in assets like houses that, they think, cannot ever drop in value regardless of how much out of touch these values are with the actual work and production and earning going on in an economy.

    NO system is staffed by people with pure motives, whether the finance sector or the government, all history has certainly shown that to be the case. There is NO corruption and moral hazard like what happens when the State starts tampering in markets. The less political tampering there is, the more quickly bad behaviour gets punished by the market itself. The more political tampering there is, the more scope there is for greedy individuals to utilise connections and privilege rather than the simple provision of needs at the fairest price.

    For example, if it wasn’t for zoning, a section for house construction on the city limits of Auckland, would cost 30 grand, not 200 grand. This is literally how it works in Texas. But here, it is worthwhile for rich investors to buy up all the farmland and wait for it to be rezoned even 20 years later, because they will then make a killing. But you will tell me now that limiting urban sprawl takes precedence over the ability of young people and the disadvantaged, to afford a house to live in. Tell me, is it really the Left that cares about people and wants to prevent the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor, the young, and the disadvantaged? Oh, simple, we will just legislate for easy-to-get mortgages, lower the base interest rate, and borrow billions from willing Japanese lenders so that people can afford the overpriced houses after all………and when the speculative bubble bursts, the finger-pointing begins……….

    Meanwhile, it has hardly been worth anyone’s while to actually work, produce, start businesses, provide jobs, and create wealth and contribute to economic growth the old-fashioned way; because the bloody socialists have done so much tinkering with the playing field, especially the tax rates, but also the erosion of the value of savings plus the taxes paid on interest, of course; that there are easier ways to make a fast buck at the expense of people who get on the gravy train too late in the piece.

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  86. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    r thscargill (20) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating1 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    John Key, the result of the welfare state!”

    Nah. The Kahuis, the result of the Welfare State……

    John Key; the result of good parenting and ethics and responsibility. John Key was a common enough kind of story prior to the Welfare State; but people like the Kahuis were unheard of.

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  87. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    Well said PhilBest, well said.

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  88. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    r thscargill (20) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating2 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 4:56 p

    “…..Again I come back to the example of the Scandinavian countries, they have a much higher standard of living than we do yet they seem to be quiet happy with a high tax high wage economy……”

    They started out with a strong, modern, highly industrialised economy including an armaments industry; and a strong Lutheran sense of Christian responsibility for oneself and others and a strong work ethic. (They also have nuclear power).

    They have spent 3 decades approx. squandering these advantages and in spite of them, have managed to wind their economic growth down to next to nothing, build up one of the biggest national debts per capita in the world, and precipitate a slide down the OECD tables. They are in the process of confronting those realities now, hence the cuts in tax rates and company taxes. NZ squandered its lesser advantages far more rapidly; we were never industrialised and never a modern economy, our prosperity was based on “sheepmeat to Great Britain”. Sweden has only now reached the kind of point that we were at when Roger Douglas took the situation in hand in the early 1980’s.

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  89. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    “your idea of capitalism means that those who are now at the bottom will always be there”

    No. YOUR idea of capitalism means that those who are now at the bottom MUST always be there. Despite evidence to the contrary.

    It is really a childish view, and shows, more than anything else, that you dont understand what capitalism is, and that never trying to figure it out wasnt much of a tragedy because you are simply incapable of understanding it.

    Sure, you there is nothing to stop you blaming everything bad on capitalism, despite a century of evidence to the contrary. But if you are going to bury your head in the sand, dont be surprised if you keep getting your butt kicked.

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  90. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    “By what right?..Its called taxes, those who earn more than they need should pay more if society decides that to be the case, and BTW, its hardly stealing when that income will almost certainly be derived from the toil of others who probably earn no more than the minimum wage.”

    Such pathetic new-socialist whining!

    Lets rip it to shreds:

    1. Taxation is a “right”, who has the right? We all do, which means no one does, which means society does.
    2. society (read: those acting in the “best” interests of society, as determined by cargill no doubt) gets to decide how much people need
    3. society then gets to take the amount of money that person doesnt need, and arbitrarily decide what to do with it
    4. anything “society” decides to do with the money is inherently good because, of like, democracy
    5. people earning the minimum wage produce everything
    6. the amount that someone produces is inversely proportional to the amount they are paid
    7. all value is derived from labour
    8. profit is theft, and because stealing from a theif isnt really stealing, taxes arent theft

    This is why I hate stupid young lefties. The answers to societies problems are so OBVIOUS, that anyone who doesnt agree mustnt care about society and be totally selfish. There is no chance that the OBVIOUS solution might be wrong. There is no chance that the sanctimonious youngster is mistaken. Is there?

    They are intellectually lazy. They have latched on to the first idea that felt right and refuse to be budged.

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  91. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    I do like the way that “The Scandinavian Socialist Eutopias” are put forward as examples of successful socialism.

    Let’s do a quick overview of Denmark – the country that has one of the highest taxation burdens in the world.

    – > 30% of the entire workforce are in the public sector
    – 60% of adults receive some government benefit
    – life expectancy is well down the list of developed countries (less than NZ, OZ, UK etc)
    – growth is well below average in OECD
    – educationally it performs worse than that capitalist pariah the US
    – their average wait time for health treatment is worse than other EU countries
    – violent crime is growing at a higher than average rate compared to the rest of the EU
    – the unemployment figures are fiddled ala labour and training and … in reality they are about 12%
    – 20% of the population is dependent on the state
    – It had a right of centre government that did many market reforms in the 80s and improvde its efficiency
    – and they now have a centre right government because they probably noticed rampant socialism doesn’t work

    They also support whaling

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  92. freethinker (694 comments) says:

    Scargill

    You are free to leave NZ to those who are happy with a flawed capitalist system and no doubt many would contribute to your airfare to Norway/Sweden were you can enjoy the socialist paradise you dream of – you may not however have noticed that North Sea Oil and Scandinavias prosperity coincided whereas Cuba without such natural resource has become some where the locals try to escape from.

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  93. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    That is a good point about the North Sea Oil, freethinker. The other elephants in the room for socialists who love Sweden, is their Nuclear Power generation infrastructure, one of the most advanced in the world; and their military industry, one of the biggest exporters of arms in the world. Trying to build Swedish Socialism without Sweden’s Oil, Nuclear power, Industrialisation, Armaments industry, and Lutheran work ethic, is like having fleas without a dog.

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  94. lloydois (209 comments) says:

    So PhilBest. Where would you rather be living? In that socialist hell hole that is Sweden or the land of hope and glory that is now NZ?

    I suspect you haven’t got a clue. Have you ever been to Sweden?

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  95. big bruv (14,148 comments) says:

    I have been to Sweden, Norway and Holland….the chicks are bloody outstanding.

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  96. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    So lloydois. Where would you rather be living? A socialist New Zealand where entreprenuership is disdained and damn near actively discouraged and the government takes most of your wages to spend on what they think you need regardless of what you want, or a capitalist New Zealand where you can decide how to spend the money you earn?

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  97. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    My pick of all destinations right now would be Texas, and I suspect YOU won’t have a clue why, yourself, Illydois.

    Do you know what “ABC” and “GTT” stand for?

    Clue: the moving industry in the USA reports that the single biggest source of moving business, is people and businesses moving from California to Texas.

    You know what matters the most to most human beings, Illydois, not what Lefties THINK matters the most? People want a well paying job AND an affordable home. Having socialists in charge will most likely give you neither, like NZ today.

    Read “Green Disparate Impact” by Thomas Sowell, to see what Californian style Chardonnay Socialism does for poor people.

    Read “The Housing Bubble and the Boomer Generation” by Robert Bruegmann, to see what it does for social mobility: “….the greatest wealth transfer in history…..” from the young, first home buyers and renters, to existing home owners, especially the ones who got into home ownership back when development was regarded as a good thing rather than an evil to be avoided, and stuff the human beings who want somewhere affordable to live.

    And what are the rates of migration to Sweden, Illydois, by anyone other than people from third world Muslim countries who are going there to take advantage of Sweden’s cultural cringe to bludge and cause trouble? Is Sweden the place where young Kiwi Uni graduates are going so as to become wealthy? Or ANY young Uni graduates? How many young Uni graduates are coming INTO New Zealand so as to become wealthy? OK, there are a lot of Indians and other third-worlders…..was NZ their first choice of destination? Yeah, right.

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  98. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Well, well, well, speak of the Sweden devil; Mark Steyn just posted this choice little analysis:

    Sunday, December 21, 2008

    “Flaming youth” [Mark Steyn]

    “John Hinderaker notes the return of youths of no other discernible characteristics in this BBC headline:

    Swedish City Hit By Youth Riots

    Let’s take a wild guess here. Would the “Swedish city” happen to be “Malmo”? Why, amazingly, yes:

    Dozens of youths have rioted in the southern Swedish city of Malmo for a second consecutive night, setting cars on fire and clashing with police.

    While we’re on a roll, would it happen to be the part of Malmo known as “Rosengard”? Why, right again!

    People stand near a burning barricades on the main road in the immigrant-dominated suburb of Rosengard…

    “Immigrant-dominated”, eh? Is that a way of saying it’s the most heavily Muslim neighborhood of Sweden’s most Muslim city? Ah, well, let’s not go that far. All the BBC is prepared to say is that the otherwise non-specific youths’ riotous activities were “linked to the closure of an Islamic centre”.

    Down under, I got into a little spat with a rather dour lady leftie on Australian radio who disputed my characterization of Malmo, and in particular my claim that ambulances would no longer respond to emergency calls in certain youthful neighborhoods without a police escort. I offered to buy her lunch in Rosengard and show her the town so she could judge for herself, but she declined to take me up on the offer. Still, perhaps she’ll reflect on this detail in a Reuters photo caption:

    Police extinguish burning barricades on the main road in the immigrant-dominated suburb of Rosengard in Malmo in southern Sweden, early December 19, 2008. The fire department considered the area to be too risky to enter with their personnel.

    In my “free speech” crusade up in Canada, I’m frequently lectured by lazy cliche-recyclers that there’s no freedom to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre. But in a burning city feel free to shout “Nothing to see here!” for another decade or three…..”

    12/21 08:18 AM

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  99. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Oh, I musn’t dodge the question, no, Illydois, I haven’t been to Sweden, but I have Swedish friends who would agree with everything I am saying. I have Swedish friends who have left Sweden because of the very reasons I am airing here.

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  100. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    PhilBest (3879) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    In my “free speech” crusade up in Canada, I’m frequently lectured by lazy cliche-recyclers that there’s no freedom to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre. But in a burning city feel free to shout “Nothing to see here!” for another decade or three…..”

    — —

    Don’t worry Immigration issues are going to become a right hot Potatoe in the coming years now there is no more cake to share, people will get feed up with listening to Islamic or Socialist rhetoric. Without a 60 hour a week job to keep them stupefied and inactive they might decide to do something about it.

    My opinion is Greece will just be the beginning =)

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  101. johnbt (90 comments) says:

    I thought jacob was as dumb as it got. The scargill is a Christmas bonus.
    It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

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  102. Anthony (798 comments) says:

    Funny you should mention Sweden Phil, as my left leaning friends cite it and other Scandanavian countries as an example of how we should be moderating capitalism. I say really, are Nokia and Volvo, etc which keep these countries afloat, state owned? Well, apart from Norway which has oil.

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  103. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    A few points:

    1) I’m not sure I can really trust anything that comes out of Treasury. Clearly there’s a huge political agenda there (just read their briefing to the incoming minister).

    2) Are the figures assuming we never come out of the recession? That’s a truly massive reduction in government income.

    3) Can we still afford tax cuts? Assuming the recession ends in a year roughly, it is only tax cuts that would mean a reduction in government income.

    4) Is is really that fair to blame Labour for what’s happened? While they definitely did increase spending levels (which even DPF seems to say was largely justified), Labour still ran big surpluses for most of their term in government. These surpluses were attacked by National, who would have preferred them to go on tax cuts rather than on paying back debt. Therefore, it’s highly arguable that we’d be even worse off if we’d previously had a National government.

    5) I’m still yet to be convinced that a tax cut is really a stimulus package. I can’t see how giving everyone a bit more money to spend on imported goods (to worsen our balance of trade deficit even further) can actually help dig us out of the hole we’re in. I see DPF’s point about how Kiwisaver and the Cullen Fund might be a bit of a luxury at times like these, but surely tax cuts are an even bigger luxury?

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  104. Tauhei Notts (1,747 comments) says:

    Banana llama,
    My in laws in Athens advise that it is not the Islamic immigrants that are providing the troubles there. It is the young Greek people.
    Many readers old enough will recall the bad riots as the Greeks tried to get rid of that dreadful Colonels’ Regime back in 1973 – 1974. They seem to have a recent history of taking no excrement from anybody.

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  105. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Who to blame, and what to do with the economy?

    If we leave aside the abuse so readily handed out by the defenders of the failed capitalist system then we come back the question posed.

    It is quiet clear who is to blame, the sharks, free market fools and greedy low life who happily trade on the hopes and dreams of those desperate to better themselves, many of you claim that your precious system is the road to self improvement while conveniently ignoring the fact that by its very nature capitalism is the exploitation of the working man to his detriment while the bosses grow fat from the toil of those who do the real work.

    Without exploitation capitalism fails.

    What to do with the economy?

    The remedy is already in place, it is strange to see that those who so champion the free market are the same idiots who are going (via corporate jet no less) on bended knee to congress begging for more of the working mans money.
    The cure is state ownership, give the workers a fair share of the pie and watch the returns flow in, sure the idiots at the top might not earn their multi million dollar salaries but then nobody can ever seriously claim that the CEO of these companies are worth their multi million dollar salary packages anyway.

    The reality is people that without the state your beloved system would come crashing down, so far we have seen the failure of the free market banking system and now the free market auto industry, how you can defend capitalism when the parasites who run these institutions and companies have destroyed them is idiotic.

    Judgment day is here, capitalism has been tried, tested and the result is a catastrophic failure, the alternative is not going to be palatable to about 15% of the population but then who really cares about them, for so long now they have shown no respect of concern for the working man or those less fortunate than themselves so I fail to see why anybody would be concerned about them.

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  106. dad4justice (8,311 comments) says:

    “Judgment day is here”

    FUCK ME – Red Alert.

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  107. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    Tauhei Notts (322) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    You misunderstood what i meant.

    I realize it is the “youf” in Greece rioting and have spoken to some of them on why they are rioting, it has nothing to do with Islam or Socialism ( for the rich ) in Greece, they have their own issues they are unhappy with, what i was meaning is they are just be the beginning of a dissatisfied populace taking action.

    Each country will be different and i suspect Socialism and Immigration will be some of Swedens major flash points.

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  108. WebWrat (516 comments) says:

    r thscargill you are an unbelievably, naive, imature and stupid cunt.

    You are an offense to my father who earned a DFC and bar in WW2 … to earn you the right to spew the shit that you do.

    You are an offense to me who has worked 40 + years, paying taxes so the likes of you can sit on your arse and spew the shit you do.

    The shit you spew is offensive to anyone who works for a living.

    Grow up.

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  109. Chicken Little (741 comments) says:

    So go down to your job centre, I’m sure you’ll see
    Iranian students get handouts for free
    and drug crazed punk rockers covort and caress
    in the interview booths at the DHSS

    We’ll catch that rat Scargill with our red rat catcher,
    we’ll send him to dinner with Margaret Thatcher
    and make him stay there, until he confessed
    that he put the reds in the DHSS

    Then we’ll hang him and flog him and hang him again
    and hang him and flog him and more of the same
    We’ll gas all the dole queues and clear up the mess
    get rid of the reds and the DHSS

    Attila the Stockbroker (1979)

    Ahh… sweet poetry.

    r thscargill – thank you for triggering that long lost memory.

    Misspent youf, an all that.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    p.s – You don’t have a clue mate.

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  110. r thscargill (34 comments) says:

    Webwrat

    I have to assume by the nature and tone of your reply that I have hit a raw nerve?

    Tell me, is it your conscience that I have touched or are you one of the 15% who is paralysed by fear at the prospect of losing your privilege and status.

    Bet you wish you have not stepped on so many of those pesky poor people on that way up the ladder now.

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  111. WebWrat (516 comments) says:

    r thscargill

    I have to assume by the nature and tone of your reply that you are about 12.

    You prove my point.

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  112. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    my father who earned a DFC and bar in WW2

    WebWrat, who’s your father?

    My grandfather also earned a DFC and Bar!!

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  113. mattyroo (1,030 comments) says:

    r thscargill Says:

    “Wealth redistribution is a corner stone of any just civilisation and something that no caring society can do without, the very idea that a man who earns 150k per year should pay the same tax rate as those earning 60k is evil, all earnings over 100k should be taxed at around the 60% level and that money should then be channeled back to those who have the least.”

    Well what a class A fuckin moron we have here.

    The world is becoming more mobile, people are able to live (and pay tax) in one country and work in another country or region for that matter. Companies are actively encouraging people to live where they want and work from there.

    Example – Someone lives in NZ, but covers the whole Asia-Pacific region and reports to the US. Now, whilst this is not the greatest tax-wise for the employee, as they could be paying much less tax by living in Singapore etc., the employee has the quality of life they desire. Yet, this cargill twit would raise this persons tax to 60%, for earnings over 100 knicker. Now, no-one with job-mobility is going to tolerate that, so they take themselves, their job and possibly a partner to somewhere more tax friendly. I don’t need to expalin what that will do to NZ….. even to someone as thick as cargill.

    In my place of employ (large MNC), there are approx 30 people whom this scenario applies to.

    Fuck off back down your parasitic socialist hole cargill.

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  114. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    Will you guys please ignore r thetwat?

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  115. ISeeRed (236 comments) says:

    r thscargill is obviously a troll, probably some bored libertarian on a piss-take. I must say his caricature of a socialist is note-perfect.

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  116. WebWrat (516 comments) says:

    # Christopher (122) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    my father who earned a DFC and bar in WW2

    WebWrat, who’s your father?

    My grandfather also earned a DFC and Bar!!
    …………….

    Popeye.

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  117. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Christopher – “I am your father Luke”

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  118. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    r thscargill

    capitalism has been tried, tested and the result is a catastrophic failure

    I want you to consider a few key points, please. Bear with me, because this is likely to be a lengthy explanation. What I do want though is for you to stop and think and to not just sprout the same, tired old dogma that you’ve been repeating since your first post. You’re not actually listening and reasoning – you are simply repeating your slogans. That’s not going to help you learn anything. (Although I suppose Socialism needs mindless drones to survive…)

    Right. Pre-amble out of the way. Look back to the example of the restaurant. What is your answer to that in socialism? When you’ve taken the money off the man who was paying for everything, what is going to create further wealth? What is going to fund the meals for the other 9 men?

    You’re likely to jump and say: “Everybody! They’ll be all working for the common good!

    Can you point at one example of where this has happened? In your Scandinavian socialist havens things are falling apart, as other commentators have pointed out. Communism, your beloved socialisms smelly brother, has been an abject failure everywhere it’s been tried.

    You need people to use their innate human ambition and drive to generate, to be catalysts for wealth. If you take away that incentive you end up with what we have here in New Zealand – a growing population that lives off the state and off welfare with no desire to earn any more. And that is a big problem. The State needs to get it’s money from somewhere. Taxation is typically the vehicle to do so, but what happens when you’ve taken away ambition and drive and have taxed the 10th man out of the country?

    You do not have enough money to pay for the meals of the other 9 men. There socialism fails. It does not have an answer to that.

    Capitalism, on the other hand, is a system designed for both success and failure. This is the message a large number of people in this thread have been trying to get across to you. What is happening at the moment, globally, is part of capitalism and the free market in it’s purer forms.

    Failure is a part of capitalism.

    The companies that overextended are meant to fail. That way the smart managers of money stay liquid, stay afloat and keep on running. The weak companies are culled, bought out and incorporated into the successfull companies. This is harsh, but it works. The wrong thing to do is to take a socialist approach and have state intervention now to try and “save” capitalism. You’re not saving it. You’re destroying it. You’re making the problem worse.

    Yes, a lot of people will lose their shirts. Some of them will struggle. A lot will lose their houses and so forth. But that is one of the prices of capitalism. If you intervene now from a state level, the bad companies will not be weeded out. You’ll only be legislating against failure, which is the wrong thing to do.

    People fail. It’s a reality of life. By removing risk from life, you’re effectively telling them to stop trying, accept that the State would care for you and just sit back and relax. To be honest with you, I would rather fail trying to succeed than succeed at failing to try. But what you and socialism advocates is that we should all sit back and just accept. Don’t do. Just be.

    And that is wrong on so many levels because it is killing human ambition. It is removing incentives from people. And with no reason to do anything, why would anything happen? Think about it. Was it socialism that put a man on the moon? Was it socialism that crossed the Atlantic in leaky wooden ships to discover America? Did socialism build the British empire? No, it was humanity and their innate ambition – the driving force of capitalism.

    r thscargill

    If we leave aside the abuse so readily handed out

    About as readily as you call people who support human ambition “greedy” and all sorts of others slurs. Think about it. Dickwad :)

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  119. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Banana Llama, you’re onto it.

    The Famous Blogger “Fjordman” said this in July this year:

    http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2008/07/civil-war-in-sweden.html

    “Civil War In Sweden?”

    “During an online poll at the national newspaper Aftonbladet, almost half of the readers voted “yes” to a question of whether a civil war is possible in Sweden.

    I know online polls don’t always reflect the public opinion, but still… This is in a country where there is virtually zero debate about mass immigration, which continues at full speed.

    My personal opinion is that Sweden is not the most likely candidate for the first civil war, simply because people need to fight back to create a civil war. It takes two to tango. The same for France, which is demographically speaking the worst country, and where a kind of war is waged by immigrants in the streets right now, but where nobody fights back. The Germans won’t go first, either; they are too tied down by their history.

    My bet is still on Britain for the first full-blown Eurabian civil war, with the Netherlands as a close second, and possibly Denmark. Italians will fight back. I don’t know if the Spanish will.

    In general, if you live in any Western European country, you should arm yourself very soon, one way or the other.”

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  120. Lee (610 comments) says:

    scargill opines:

    “how long will it be before you greedy sods accept that it is your greed and your disdain for anybody born outside of privilege that blinds you to the truth.”

    What an absolute load of total bullshit. I was NOT born into any kind of privilege. I was born into a poor family. My father overcame poverty by working hard and saving. I disdain privilegded middle class chardonnay socialists who spout your crap but who themselves have never been poor and have no idea about the realities of poverty and the social and family destruction that inter-generational welfare creates.

    The “capitalist” system has not failed because there is NO true free market capitalist system in operation anywhere in the world. The US economy is heavily regulated and controlled by a state central bank system that uses fiat currency to distort the market and this has been the case since FDR. What HAS failed is government interventionism and regulatory systems. If there has been any greed it is because government intervention created a socialist market in housing that allowed the greed to take place. IF it had been a true free market capitalist system the greed would not have been possible because there would have been no government system to bail out failed lending institutions and any shoddy lending to those with bad credit would never have happenned.

    The sub-prime market collapse was a failure of socialism. Any fool with more than two brain cells to rub together could see that forcing lending institutions to give housing loans to those with bad credit histories was a recipe for disaster, and the disaster has now come about. It was Clinton and the Dems whgo created this monster. That it took time to fail is hardly surprising, but that it failed under Bush has nothing to do with Bush. Like most of the problems that Bush has had to deal with (including Al-Qaeda) this was Clinton’s legacy of failure.

    And yes, socialism HAS failed in Sweden. Sweden has one of the largest poverty underclasses in the Western world and its welfare system is financially unsustainable. Unless deep cuts are made over the next two decades the system will collapse unless Sweden borrows huge sums of money. Also, Sweden is one of the most heavily controlled and totalitarian societies in the West. It regularly arrests and imprisons people fopr merely expressing politically incorrect views.

    Unlike you I do not need nanny state telling me how to think.

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  121. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    # ISeeRed (68) 4 0 Says:
    December 22nd, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    “r thscargill is obviously a troll, probably some bored libertarian on a piss-take. I must say his caricature of a socialist is note-perfect.”

    Maybe you’re right, ISeeRed, I mean, how pigshit THIIIICK do you have to be to make a statement like THIS:

    “…..The cure is state ownership, give the workers a fair share of the pie and watch the returns flow in…..”

    Scargill, when the Railways were last State owned, back in the early 1980’s, the “returns” that “flowed”, did not flow “in”, they flowed “out”, of the pockets of all taxpayers in NZ, to the tune of around $400 million dollars per year, in the money of that time.

    Milton Friedman had a standing bet open to any takers for most of his lifetime, that no State owned enterprise anywhere in the world would return a net profit to the taxpayers over the lifetime of its ownership by the State. Friedman died a year or so ago without anyone having taken him up.

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  122. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    And THIS pigshit-thick statement from scargill:

    “……The remedy is already in place, it is strange to see that those who so champion the free market are the same idiots who are going (via corporate jet no less) on bended knee to congress begging for more of the working mans money…..”

    These people are no champions of the free market at all, if it was up to them, they would have a protected market all to themselves, and would be gouging the American consumer so that they would still be making profits instead of losses in spite of all the privilege and featherbedding that goes down in their corporations. The Free Market IS the solution; that is, let the blighters go bankrupt like British Leyland, and let a new, competitive auto industry arise out of the ashes like Britain has today. Throwing taxpayers money at the problem is NOT the Free Market, and it is NOT Capitalism. It is Socialism.

    And I include in the description “privilege and featherbedding” at GM, all those who work there, not just the executives on their obscene salaries. It is privilege, pure and simple, when a worker at Toyota in Tennessee on $26 per hour (and grateful for it) is paying tax to subsidise wages of $42 per hour for a worker in Detroit. It is privilege, it is gouging, it is a “shakedown”.

    There is such appalling misinformation abroad today precisely because the REAL champions of the Free Market don’t get any column inches at all in our media. There are plenty of Free market economists and analysts who saw the current crash coming, and they were ignored; and they are being ignored still.

    Scargill, for a bit of an education, pay a visit to Peter Cresswell’s “Not PC” Blog (It’s on Kiwiblog’s short list of “Must Read” Blogs) and look at his postings and links on the subject of the financial crisis and the bailouts. THAT is a “champion of the free market”. You have got no idea what such a thing looks like – yet.

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  123. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Looks like Lee and I are on the same wavelength. Yep, Scargill, take a look at the Ludwig Von Mises Society page that Lee has linked to there. THEY are “champions of the Free Market”. Peter Cresswell is a classic example of a follower of Von Mises principles.

    Or you might like a video or two to watch: Videos of TV clips of an economist named Peter Schiff are getting very popular on Youtube; watch these:

    “Peter Schiff Was Right”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0QN-FYkpw

    (Watch all the cowboys mocking Peter Schiff in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 for predicting exactly what happened)

    Look at what he’s saying more recently:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mlo8uvlwQeQ&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLq9B5_iFCo&feature=related

    Scargill; you obviously haven’t ever encountered a “champion of the free market”. Watch those videos, follow those links, and get your mind blown………

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  124. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    “The sub-prime market collapse was a failure of socialism.”

    Yes there were many socialist roots to the sub-prime-splosion but that isnt the whole story. One big problem was the (now obvious, but not at the time) over-reliance on flawed credit ratings. And it is hard to see how socialism can be to blame there.

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  125. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    “These people are no champions of the free market at all, if it was up to them, they would have a protected market all to themselves, and would be gouging the American consumer so that they would still be making profits instead of losses in spite of all the privilege and featherbedding that goes down in their corporations.”

    This is a good point. The unprofitable automakers of America wouldnt still be around to ask for a bailout if the free market was at play. They would have gone under long ago, and true free-marketeers think they should have been allowed to.

    The worst part of socialism isnt a large powerful state per se. (Though that is often bad enough.) It is when the “private” sector begins to appeal to the state sector to interfere. Each individual actor in the private sector is going to try and skew the game in their own favour, free-marketeers know and understand that you cant expect much more from them. But it becomes a problem when the state sector is big enough (and arrogant enough) to get involved, which they always do.

    And when they start to interfere where do they stop? Well, as we have seen, they dont.

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  126. Lee (610 comments) says:

    “One big problem was the (now obvious, but not at the time) over-reliance on flawed credit ratings. And it is hard to see how socialism can be to blame there.”

    I agree. One of the root causes is a reliance by banks, lending institutions and other financial organisations on classical economics, which has both “left” and “right” forms.

    Classical economics makes the mistake of treating the economy and economic behaviour as a predictable science, a mistake that the Austrian School avoids.

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