Student Loans for Over 65s

July 6th, 2009 at 1:23 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

Scrapping financial help for students aged 65 and over would put retraining out of reach for many older workers, senior citizens say.

Education Minister Anne Tolley said last week she had asked for advice about scrapping and allowances for senior citizens.

Ms Tolley said although she supported lifetime learning, “in tough economic times we do have to carefully consider how and where our investment in education is best placed.”

About 150 people over 65 got a student allowance in the first three months of this year and 655 received a student loan.

Grey Power national president Les Howard said cutting funding for older students was discriminatory and ignored the increasing number of people choosing to work past retirement age.

The reality is that if you take out a student loan at age 65, you will probably never pay it back, and it is ridicolous to think that in these tight economic times the priority should be totally free tertiary education for people who have mainly retired from the workforce. The state subsidises tertiary education partly because a more educated workforce has an economic return to it.

The latest student loans annual report has the percentage of borrowers aged over 50 having increased from 0.4% in 1992 to 4.3% in 2007.

The former President of Grey Power was not as greedy as his sucessor – he agreed it was perverse:

“I struggle with the concept that money will be lent to people who are not working and can’t pay it back,” said Grey Power national president Graham Stairmand.

And Dr Cullen also said it was an issue:

Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen told the Herald he was aware of the issue and was looking into it.

He told National MP Pansy Wong in Parliament last week: “One of the slightly stranger features of the student loan scheme is that once one reaches a certain age, in effect one does not have to pay the loan back.”

If someone over 65 wants to do tertiary study then good on them. The taxpayer is still going to subsidise 70% or so of the cost of their course – which is bloody generous. But by giving them a student loan they will never repay, we are effectively increasing that subsidy to 100%. If you are over 65 and want to study you should pay for the course fees yourself – not borrow off the next generation of taxpayers. I hope the Government does change eligibility.

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68 Responses to “Student Loans for Over 65s”

  1. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Of course, I struggle with giving hip replacements to the over 65s too.

    The state subsidises medical treatments partly because a healthier and fitter workforce has an economic return to it.

    The reality is that if you have a hip replacement over 65 your taxes will probably never pay it back.

    [DPF: I don't know if you are just pretending to be stupid, but there is a difference between surgery that enhances the quality of life and deciding to do a BA once you are 70]

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  2. trout (939 comments) says:

    Why is a student loan not a charge against a person’s estate?

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  3. Manolo (13,762 comments) says:

    This perverse sense of “entitlement” is rife through NZ society: from bludgers, to Working for Families, to senior citizens.

    If you want to study at any age, you should be prepared to fork out the cost. Don’t ask the taxpayer to foot the bill.

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  4. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “The reality is that if you have a hip replacement over 65 your taxes will probably never pay it back.”

    You stupid uninformed waste of time. You wouldn’t know reality if it was chewing your bludging ignorant arse off.

    That depends on whether you’re working or not. Many over 65s pull in six figure salaries.

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  5. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    Yep Manolo, New Zealanders young or old or in between, sure feel entitled to stick their unworthy hands in someone else’s back pocket. A nation of legitimised pick pockets.

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  6. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    You stupid uninformed waste of time. You wouldn’t know reality if it was chewing your bludging ignorant arse off.

    That depends on whether you’re working or not. Many over 65s pull in six figure salaries.

    You really shouldn’t be so rude to DPF, simply point out to him that being over 65 doesn’t mean being without the means to repay a student loan.

    [DPF: Dr Cullen is the one quoted as saying once you are 65 you generally never repay. And he is right - the odd exception does not negate the overall case]

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Fuck off Jack. You’re just a fool, and you bring this site down to primary school level.

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  8. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Bugger, there goes my post-retirement PhD plans. The key factor in not paying it back of course is that if you aren’t earning a salary or wage, IRD can’t get at it by deduction at source. c.f. hip replacements where investment income is taxed and is contributing to the public purse even if no wage or salary is earned.

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  9. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    Maybe we can have a seperate section for Red and MNIJ, the later who just winds him up and the former so he cant vent his built up rage at him.

    One would think that if you cant afford Uni by 65 something has gone seriously wrong with your savings. In essence I agree with you DPF in that the underlying reason for the state subsidising heavily tertiary education is the hoped increase in productivity and so future taxes collected, in saying that I do feel like we have gone to an extreme level, Uni level study is not foreveryone.

    I think where we would disgree on policy is interest free student loans, which I imagine you are heavily against, but which I strongly support, at least for some kind of set period. If you brought in limited life interest free student loans you would still encourage paying them back early but also reduce the effect of starting life with $35 – 40k of interest bearing debt when you are starting of your life.

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  10. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Christ I had to haul myself off my knees and wipe tears of laughter from my eyes! Listening to the extreme right bleating:

    “If you are over 65 and want to study you should pay for the course fees yourself – not borrow off the next generation of taxpayers. I hope the Government does change eligibility.”

    Absolutely pathetic, this from the same extremists that see nothing wrong with banks being bailed out to the tune of billions which is passed on to future generations and NZ guaranteeing bank deposits which if called on will also mean passing on the bill to future generations! In fact given that NZ has run deficits for about 28 years continuously (like most of the west) and everyone else is living off borrowed money from future generations, it seems a bit mean spirited not to let the oldies join in the fun!! Oh you meanies!!! ;)

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  11. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    There’s a wonderful irony to how easily redBAITER gets baited.

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  12. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    Also MNIJ re hip replacement it is a basic understanding of how public healthcare works that the 20 – mid 50 age bracket subserdises the old and young, in turn getting health subserdised when they are old.

    Further you cant really bring that as a counter point to a true right minded person who believes the state should have no / very limited interest in public health.

    My personal views on privatising health though are based on the country which has done it the most and has the worst healthcare for how much they spend in the world, yip the great USA.

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  13. William Fussey (45 comments) says:

    Completely agree David. I thought exactly the same thing when I read the article in the Dom Post.

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  14. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Jezuz, over 65s are practically herded into retirement and dependence on the state with socialist applied cattle prods.

    I was in a doctor’s studio the other day for the first time in yonks, and while idly reading the publications stuck to the walls, I was shocked at their coercive tone.

    Disgusting socialist crap and so widespread. All these poor old people sitting there with the spirit knocked right out of them by socialism.

    Sad and unnecessary.

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  15. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    [DPF: Dr Cullen is the one quoted as saying once you are 65 you generally never repay. And he is right - the odd exception does not negate the overall case]

    Actually, I had accepted this as pretty correct, but your assertion awakened my curiosity. Over 65’s still have incomes, (retirement funds, investments etc) some still work, others as I said have high paying jobs. They generate tax, and some have private health insurance. I wonder what the net would really be once all the sums were done.

    [DPF: Student Loan repayments are only applied (I think) based on PAYE deductions. It would be interesting to get the actual level]

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  16. Mike78 (80 comments) says:

    Isnt the real question the true cost, are there that many oldies filling up these classes, I cant recall seeing any when doing my study although it was IT so that might preclude some. How many classes, buildings, lecturers etc LESS would be required by excluding the old, I would guess almost none – they are simply filling up gaps on courses which will be run anyway with or without them so the real saving by excluding them is basically nothing. Its all a bit of elaborate money go round, they borrow money for a place in a course which otherwise the university would have got nothing for, this money is paid to the university’s which therefore require less funding from the government to operate and then the students have to pay it back even if slowly – So yes unless there are having to buy new buildings or supercomputers or hire more staff to deal with the numbers of elderly I just dont see this as a major issue.

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  17. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Mike78, interesting point which i await someone elses’ answer on, but I would add that every student over 24 is eligible for a student allowance which does not have to be paid back. Goes up to about $200 a week now i think.

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  18. anonymouse (715 comments) says:

    But the numbers that we are talking about here are almost trivial.

    looking at Table 6 of the figures for the latest student loan report

    http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/__data/assets/excel_doc/0006/43377/08SLS_Annual-Report_Tables_Final-sm.xls

    We find that the number of borrowers 65 and over in 2007 was 2012, and they borrowed a total of $14.1 million, They comprised 1.0% of borrowers.

    When you total up all the loans given to those 65 and over for the past 8 years you get about $67.4 million borrowed by 8336 people. Since the 1998 $ 34.8 million was written of due to the borrower dying.

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  19. Rod (180 comments) says:

    Hang on a minute there DPF. This sounds like a serious case of age discrimination.

    I know plenty of very capable older people who have to face up to retraining to keep current and employable. Most people of any age have to do that, in fact. Most professions make it mandatory. So why stop when you are still able to work, irrespective of age?

    And plenty of older people have had their retirement resources depleted by finance company crashes and the like, to say nothing of low to negative investment returns these days. A very large number have to keep working well past 65, and can. Sounds like you would just have them go on the scrap heap at 65 rather than keep up to date, employable and employed.

    That is not how the real world is today. With an aging population and skill shortages it makes neither economic nor social sense to declare people useless at a certain age. Sadly many cocky people under about 50 are inclined to be uncomfortable with the idea of older people in the workforce, and have for generations. I think I did once too, until I reached a “certain age”.

    [DPF: Tell you what if you give up your taxpayer funded pension when you are 65, then I'll support you getting a student loan]

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  20. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    [DPF: Student Loan repayments are only applied (I think) based on PAYE deductions. It would be interesting to get the actual level]

    They are only deducted directly through PAYE, however your minimum repayment should be based on your total income, being 10% of every $ earned over the threshold which is $19,084 last time I checked. Accordingly if one is earning income from investments, which are not then put through as trust income (which it would make no sense to do until you get to the 38% threshold), one should theoritically being making student loan repayments, which the IRD could potentially issue orders to collect. How much this is done I have zero clue.

    This is all based on my understanding, as I havent read the legislation directly in regards to this, as I dont deal with individual peoples tax.

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  21. mara (784 comments) says:

    Redbaiter. Gee, your doctor has a studio? Mine only has a waiting room and a surgery. Should I upgrade? Otoh, she does not stick her publications up on the wall as very few appear to be getting stolen.

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  22. wreck1080 (3,907 comments) says:

    If the elderly want student loans, then they must be made to participate in the o-week festivities. In the likes of the chunder mile, bike pub crawl, and helicopter t-shirt drops.

    To the fool who calls himself MYNAMEISJACK, funding is finite. What would you choose if you had the choice between giving an old person a hip replacement , or a student loan?

    Or, would you do the lefty thing, and print more money so we can do both ha ha.

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  23. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    BTW, there should not be any government funding of educational loans, over 65 or whatever.

    These things are unaffordable on the grounds that government cannot be given this degree of financial involvement in people’s lives as, like government health care, it is overall extremely detrimental to the democractic process.

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  24. Inky_the_Red (759 comments) says:

    I can’t see how funding education is bad, ever. Who can say someone over 65 will not contribute with their new skills. Who can say that someone under 30 will use new skills learnt?

    At the very least older people studying are inspirational. Why stop these people learning? What not show our youth and and shout proudly, “Learning is great, do it”.

    Let’s increase the knowledge of the whole country.

    Let the old inspire the young to learn. Let the old learn what the young are learning.

    Let’s look positively at learning. Let’s never put barriers to stop anyone learning

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  25. lynroadskyroad (3 comments) says:

    I agree entirely with limiting subsidised education to >65 year olds – a news story years ago showed an elderly gentlemen who had rediscovered his love of learning, he had just completed a masters and was now undertaking a Phd. I can only hope that when i’m his age I still have the same passion for learning – HOWEVER – unless his thesis was to be of commercial benefit then he falls right into this argument of is his education worth the government subsidy, after all it is an investment isn’t (i’m conveniently ignoring the 100’s who take the degrees over seas on completion)

    What I DO NOT AGREE WITH is the comments with regards to his hip replacement. Disgusted. Recipients of this surgery have generally paid their taxes throughout their lives and deserve to be able to enjoy their retirement. A hip replacement is not an investment. It is a right.

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  26. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    [DPF: Tell you what if you give up your taxpayer funded pension when you are 65, then I'll support you getting a student loan]

    No problem giving up the pension, you would be getting the student allowance anyway, I’m pretty sure you don’t get both.

    [DPF: The pension is a lot more than the student allowance]

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  27. mara (784 comments) says:

    How much does it cost taxpayers annually for specialists to medically interfere to save the lives of “damaged” babies who would have died, but then survive to become a burden on the state? These kids have never worked or paid taxes.
    How many criminals, drunkards, boy racers,welfare bludgers and the generally stupid or unfortunate do we accept as a part of our welfare/democratic system? I suggest we start there and leave older folks with some brain and motivation alone.
    Society could do with more of them, not fewer.

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  28. Manolo (13,762 comments) says:

    “I can’t see how funding education is bad, ever.” “”Let’s look positively at learning. Let’s never put barriers to stop anyone learning”..

    And several platitudes like the above.

    Nobody would argue the right to educate yourself as much as you like. The crux is the source of funding. Regardless of age, no one has the right to spend taxpayer’s dollars on “free” education.

    Nothing is “free” after all. The concept, however, has eluded the Left for decades, if not centuries.

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  29. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    How much does it cost taxpayers annually for specialists to medically interfere to save the lives of “damaged” babies who would have died, but then survive to become a burden on the state? These kids have never worked or paid taxes.

    Add to that the costs of designer babies, IVF for those nature had determined were not suited to passing on their genes.

    Plus the heroic medical interventions that save “lives” by creating vegetables.

    Plus hip replacements for the over 70s, who are about to die anyway.

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  30. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    [DPF: I don't know if you are just pretending to be stupid, but there is a difference between surgery that enhances the quality of life and deciding to do a BA once you are 70]

    Study keeps the mind active and an active mind is life enhancing.

    Of course, you exhibit here the same narrow minded attitude to education as your political overlords who think its is greta to save $13 million by cutting ACE courses that do not have “employment outcomes” while at the same time pissing away $40 million on a party shed that will do nothing except add to the general level of drunken stupidity in Auckland.

    [DPF: Actually the money saved from ACE courses is going into increased funding for special education. And for those of us not in fantasyland realising funding is limited, I 'd say that was an excellent prioritisation of resources.

    You also miss the point re elderly study. They can stuill study and get the same 70% subsidy towards the costs as everyone else. And that is bloody generous of the taxpayer. I am just saying that they should not be eligible for a student loan, as DR Cullen rightfully notes it will probably never be paid back]

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  31. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Hmmmm it warms the cockles of the heart to see that even on a right wing blog site the majority of the posters are not heartless, Thatcherite style bastards. The positive comments re older citizens taking further education is encouraging.

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  32. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Hmmmm it warms the cockles of the heart to see that even on a right wing blog site the majority of the posters are not heartless, Thatcherite style bastards.”

    Its pretty heartless to see NZ hard working families with their own needs and ambitions as a handy and defenceless source of unlimited funding for power seeking socialists. Maybe you should take a look in the mirror before you decide who the heartless people are.

    BTW, Thatcher brought a degree of home ownership to the UK that was unprecedented. Under your left wing government, they’re back sleeping in the streets.

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  33. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    Bugger there goes my bone carving and Maori Studies Course at the Wananga unless Pita gets free entry for all Maori.

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  34. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    @Kaya: Extreme right? Who on here is extreme right, apart from maybe Reddy and myself?

    Secondly:

    …this from the same extremists that see nothing wrong with banks being bailed out to the tune of billions…

    I beg your fucking pardon?

    Are you seriously suggesting that the right are in favour of nationalising banks? Are you actually fucking kidding me?

    Thatcherite style bastards

    Well, my parents were definitely married at the time of my birth, but I’ll take that label and wear it with pride.

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  35. Inky_the_Red (759 comments) says:

    Manolo based on everyone should pay for their own education. Sound nice in principle even if you assume parents taking on the responsibility to educate their kids.

    What if a parent does not want to? Chooses not to? The future burden of society to pay.

    Even adult education, we have students loans because not all students can afford education. Not all student loans are paid off even by the youth. They may go overseas, or never earn an income, or die before hand (even the the young are not immortal). To pick winners based on age seems ridiculous.

    If a older person takes out a student loan so what. How much is at really costing? We have no idea how older people impact on the young while learning.

    Repaying student loans is not the only way people pay back the ‘cost of study’. We teach people collective in the hope that society will grow. At age 65 a person is still expected to live another 15 years (or so). Who is to say the person won’t contribute in those 15 years. In this society how are these benefits measured? If further education makes older people healthier then maybe we reduce the medical bill.

    I said inspiring the young to learn. An inspired youngster may repay her entire student loan and help create a whole new species of Kiwifruit. How do we measure this outcome when we charge ‘Education Fees’.

    Nothing is black and white except for people who claim something is ‘commonsense’.

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  36. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    BTW, there should not be any government funding of educational loans, over 65 or whatever.

    100% agreed, red.

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  37. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Are you seriously suggesting that the right are in favour of nationalising banks? Are you actually fucking kidding me?”

    Yep, she’s suggesting it. Leftists, always at least one sandwich short of a picnic. Always light years away from where its really at.

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  38. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    But DPF – Of course over 65’s should have free everything, just save the policy anouncement till just before an election. Perhaps even give them a special “card”….

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  39. MY (6 comments) says:

    I have decided I love Christopher – and if he and Redbaiter accept me in the VERWC, I will be flattered.

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  40. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    I have decided I love Christopher – and if he and Redbaiter accept me in the VERWC, I will be flattered.

    From the first time our eyes met across that crowded room, I knew that you, I and the VRWC were meant to be.

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  41. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I said inspiring the young to learn. An inspired youngster may repay her entire student loan and help create a whole new species of Kiwifruit.

    If anything, seeing lots of old people at uni would probably *decrease* its attractiveness.

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  42. WebWrat (516 comments) says:

    I am a bit flumoxed by your attitude Dave:

    [DPF: Tell you what if you give up your taxpayer funded pension when you are 65, then I'll support you getting a student loan]

    65 year old pensioners ARE the taxpayers that funded their pensions.

    What the fuck do the likes of phool contribute to their own welfare?

    Why do the elderly have to get kicked in the guts after a life time of contributing?

    [DPF: 65 year olds have not funded their pensions. They are not pre-funded. If you are 65, then you spent most of your life having the Government running up deficits and leaving the debt for the next generation to pay. Only in last 15 years has that changed.]

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  43. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    “65 year old pensioners ARE the taxpayers that funded their pensions.”

    Actually incorrect. THey have paid towards others pensions yes, but the numbers of those pensioners were significantly less than the baby boomer population which is currently heading towards retirement, so saying they paid by paying for their seniors is misleading when they get the better end of the deal so to speak.

    Compulsory super should of been kept back when Muldoon got rid of it, now we have a culture of the state will look after me when I reach retirement, which is not sustainable and not in the interests of the country, but is what we are signed up to due to the worst thing to happen to NZ ever, being Muldoon. The only positive out of him was that by his complete incompantance in handling the economy we finally saw allot of the redicolous legislation around the market dumped.

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  44. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Now let me see if I have this right, a lot of you are in favor of the young who have paid fuck all in the way of taxes getting a tax payer paid education with a interest free loan on top. A lot of them will then fuck off overseas without having to bother paying that loan back.
    And a lot of you have no problem with gifting the young who have done NOTHING for this country that amount of money plus a free degree.

    But, you are against we who have one or two grey hairs in our Greek god heads getting the same.
    Even though a lot of us have paid a lot more fucking tax than what we will ever get back through super or any thing else.

    Have I got that about right ?

    Fuck I agree with Red, drop the free university idea.
    Ungrateful young buggers those students are.

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  45. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    …a lot of you are in favor of the young who have paid fuck all in the way of taxes getting a tax payer paid education with a interest free loan on top.

    The lefty lot are yeah. I’m not.

    Ungrateful young buggers those students are.

    So much so that you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.

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  46. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    GOH

    No you haven’t actually, I am marely stating a fact that we shouldnt be in the situation that we are now, but we are because of decisions made by the NZ public then through there vote. As those decisions were made we now have to live with the consequences of having state super, I am not for doing away with it, as it would end in a horrible outcome, however it shouldn’t of been the case, and its not the best case scenario. Further state super will not be around when my generation retires, or I highly doubt it, so its like a double edged sword.

    Further I am stating a fact that retirees now (as a massive generalisation – because it would hugely depend on what you earned during your life time vs tax paid) get a better deal than they paid towards in terms of superannuation, its simple mathmatics when the portion of the retirees was significantly less.

    And finally regarding being an ungrateful bunch, if you really want to go into the details of it the older generation also had free access to school, and University was a hell of allot cheaper than it currently is / free for many. There were no such things as interest free student loans as you didnt need one. Housing was a more reasonable price as prices hadnt been gouged by global trends upwards + being no capital gains tax. Further the tax rate for baby boomers during their 18 – 35 (based on average income of respective age bracket) was relatively lower than it is for current 18 – 35 year olds, taking into account PAYE, ACC Levy, GST) with the difference being funded through a higher rate at the other end and reduced costs overall, i.e. healthcare etc.

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  47. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Jeff83 one big bloody difference between now and the sixties, the only people who went to university in my day were those doing the professions and a few wankers doing politics.
    Now days we have people doing bloody degrees in leisure studies, now some might argue that those people and wimpy art types need degrees but I have my doubts.
    So yes let us go back to the sixties and only do the degrees we NEED and no nursing should not be a degree course.

    Let us fully fund degrees we need including a reasonable living allowance but they will be bonded for seven years, no bond, no free study.
    As for wimpy art types, bright enough to take a degree, they should be bright enough to pay the full cost of it.

    Oh question, with the system we have now should ALL the young get the same amount gifted to them regardless of whether they are doing a degree, a trade etc or do those inside of ivy covered walls deserve more, if so why ?

    Oh, lawyers and accountants pay the full price.

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  48. whalehunter (479 comments) says:

    can i too have an interest free loan?
    although my work is only growing food… so i guess thats not as important as working, for say… a government department.

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  49. EverlastingFire (286 comments) says:

    GOH – I’ve just come out of studying after 3 and a half years and I agree. I saw this shit all the time where layabouts would do one course, and then do another and another, just so they can receive their student allowance or student living costs which they never planned to pay back. I’ve found many students that are there to actually get ahead in life and make a career out of what they’re studying for, are planning to piss off overseas as soon as they complete their degree.

    It would be good if we could have a limit on how many years someone can receive an allowance or living costs, or at least make them demonstrate a willingness to find part time work. And putting more of an emphasis on “professionals” we really need in the country and not pissing away money for art degrees.

    I think cutting loans for over 65’s is a start, considering the whole system is fucked anyway.

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  50. Tauhei Notts (1,711 comments) says:

    Trout at 1.33 p.m. raised a very good point.
    I was hoping that one of the knowledgable commenters on this blog would be able to explain it to me.
    Why are student loans written off at death, rather than becoming a liability of the estate?
    Nowadays many estates will contain significant Kiwisaver investments and they should, upon a person’s death, go to the unpaid student loan.

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  51. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Redbaiter tells me – “BTW, Thatcher brought a degree of home ownership to the UK that was unprecedented. Under your left wing government, they’re back sleeping in the streets.” Redbaiter she was a nasty piece of shit and that is nothing to do with her political colour, she was just a c#*t. I lived there in the 80’s. Her actions didn’t affect me directly but they disgusted me.
    My opinion of her is only slightly less than my opinion of Helen Clark. Work that one out, maybe I just don’t like extremists. I am self employed, pay tax, don’t get WFF or any other assistance.

    A couple of points, don’t presume to label me left or right, I’m not as myopic as you and Christopher and I don’t live under any “wing”. Fuck that sort of blind faith, you tend do get disillusioned. (Nor am I female).

    I judge politicians by how they act, irrespective of party or what colour tie they wear. What they say is usually unreliable, too many liars. Same way I judge people really, colour, race and religion are irrelevant.

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  52. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Christopher – “Are you seriously suggesting that the right are in favour of nationalising banks? Are you actually fucking kidding me?”

    No Christopher, don’t be silly, I am not suggesting that and it isn’t what I said or inferred. I’m suggesting the right are in favour of bailouts without the incovenience of added strings. The privatisation must be really pissing them off. Personally I think they should have been allowed to go under and worry about the consequences later. (Minimal consequences to all but the financial sector, food still grows when sharemarkets fall). Free market and all that.
    National guaranteeing deposits using taxpayers money we haven’t got. They are guaranteeing private industry with our children’s futures.

    What I am saying is the right are those benefiting most from bailouts, guarantees and “quantitive easing” (gotta love that term for printing monopoly money.) Quibbling about a few dollars for oldies seems a wee bit mean compared to all that. That’s all I meant by it. It was nice to see most posters felt the same way. As you say, maybe you and RB are the only extreme righties on here, my apologies to the others who I may have slurred. :)

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  53. donkey (43 comments) says:

    2 extremes
    the one all pay for their education
    the other
    no one pays.

    how about another?
    if you’re a citizen and your gonna contribute we pay .
    as it’s an investment in the country per se.

    as for oldies having paid tax and volunteered etc etc etc.
    the present 65’sand+
    are of a generation who did work and pay their dues. so let them study.

    One of the reasons I hate the tories is they had their free education and want others to pay.
    then they lable all things a benefit.
    excluding those people who have paid their dues.
    an old age payment isn’t a benefit, they paid their way.
    so let them study.
    I’d rather chuck out all the bullshit degrees the youngens are doing which are rubbish.
    all those who go to uni and don’t finish should pay back everything.
    if you don’ty pass a year then you have to pay that year back.

    sorry about the rant but I’ve talked to too many olduns who’ve struggled and gone without and worked hard over years to listen to your dribble.
    let them study and the ACE stuff too.
    if it keeps people moving forward its worth it.
    you’re a bunch of crumb arses.

    maybe we need to tax you 70% just so you shut the fck up at taking off our older workers.

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  54. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “don’t presume to label me left or right”

    Every time someone says that they turn out to be a lefty.

    What I am saying is the right are those benefiting most from bailouts, guarantees and “quantitive easing”

    Bullshit. The true right are refusing to accept the bailout money. You’re problem is you don’t know who is what you idiot. Including yourself I’d say.

    The privatisation must be really pissing them off.

    What privatisation? They’re being nationalised for fucks sake. gibberish. utter gibberish.

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  55. Galeandra (30 comments) says:

    Well.omg!!! Having read the wonderfully fluent expressions by y’all, our wonderful yoof, I feel our ship o’ state has a great crew aboard. Whynerf would you want the old and wrinkled to be given any more subserdies (sic, eh?). No bloody use at all, what?
    Praps the aged parentsnall should stick to doing suchlike things as meals-on-wheels , volunteer work for CABs and babysitting the next generation of rugrats ( a novel species which morphs through Generation why? into redbaiters and such like.)
    Everybody knows the only cents in tertiary education is in the $$$ returned. Myoaf haven’t we created a wunnerful worl’, why, a brave new worl’!!! What intelleck, wot charm, wot savoir faire and wot blinding reason. I trulyam impressed.

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  56. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Redbaiter – I’m hurt, I hoped never to become the victim of your vitriol, I’ll try to get over it.

    Yes I said privatisation instead of nationalised, it’s been a long day, I’m tired and made a mistake, you knew exactly what I meant.
    No I’m not a lefty no matter how compelling your evidence to the contrary. Never had a benefit, always paid taxes, believe in being rewarded for hard work but I also see no problem in helping out others.

    “The true right are refusing to accept the bailout money.” That’s funny, I was sure Wall Street was tripping over itself to grab the loot, maybe I missed something and they are actually all socialists working in Manhattan.
    The only people in the true right who actually refused to accept money are the handful who topped themselves. The rest just reduced their thieving bonus demands slightly and thanked their lucky stars they still had a job earning too much for doing nothing that actually contributes anything useful to the world.

    Back to the point of my original post, a small number of oldies trying to keep their brains active is a bit of a soft target for cost cutting relative to the rest of the dross.

    Seriously though, you need to take some angry pills, all that angst can’t be good for you.

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  57. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Christopher – “Are you seriously suggesting that the right are in favour of nationalising banks? Are you actually fucking kidding me?”

    No Christopher, don’t be silly, I am not suggesting that and it isn’t what I said or inferred.

    Err, sorry, but that’s exactly what you said. I quote again:

    …this from the same extremists that see nothing wrong with banks being bailed out to the tune of billions…

    I’m suggesting the right are in favour of bailouts without the incovenience of added strings.

    Let me put this simply so that you can understand: The Right do not like bailouts. The Right do not want tax dollars used to bail out private companies. Ever. Period. If you are under the impression that anyone with free market economic values wants any kind of government interference with markets then you are sorely, sorely mistaken.

    In fact, that’s kind of the definition of being Right Wing.

    The privatisation must be really pissing them off.

    What? What privatisation? You realise that privatisation occurs when a state-owned asset is sold to private individuals, right? A bailout is the opposite – nationalisation.

    I think you are a bit confused with your terms here. You say privatisation when you mean nationalisation, and Right when you mean Left.

    ersonally I think they should have been allowed to go under and worry about the consequences later. (Minimal consequences to all but the financial sector, food still grows when sharemarkets fall). Free market and all that.

    Well good on you. Everyone on the Right agrees with you. I’m becoming almost certain that you’re actually a Right winger who is confused as to what Left and Right really mean, and think that I’m actually some rabid socialist.

    National guaranteeing deposits using taxpayers money we haven’t got. They are guaranteeing private industry with our children’s futures.

    Nobody on the Right wanted ANY bank deposit guarantees, but actually this choice was taken out of the hands of our Government.

    A little bit of background here: When people invest their money in a bank, they are paid an interest rate which compensates them for the risk they take on by handing over their money. The ratio between risk and return determines how good an investment it is. So suppose that you have your money in the bank with a low interest rate but a very, very small risk. Sweet eh? Then suppose that Australia implements a deposit guarantee scheme. You, being a clever sod, figure out that Australian banks are offering similar returns… for zero risk. Zero! All the deposits are guaranteed, so you can’t lose! So, being a clever sod, you decide to withdraw your money from the NZ bank and plonk it down in Australia. Sweet eh? Really sweet, except for the fact that every other bastard has realised the same thing, so everyone pulls their money out of NZ’s banks. Then what happens? You have a run on the banks. That’s what a run is… everyone withdrawing their money – so much that the banks don’t have the cash on hand to pay you. So, in order to prevent a run on NZ’s banks, the Government had to implement a deposit guarantee scheme. No choice, you see.

    Phew, that was a long explanation. Dirty, but somebody had to do it!

    And lastly:

    What I am saying is the right are those benefiting most from bailouts, guarantees and “quantitive easing” (gotta love that term for printing monopoly money.)

    Say what? The Right benefit from QE? But the Right are the ones with all the money, which QE drastically devalues… why the hell would the Right benefit from QE???

    Kaya, I think I know what has happened here. You’ve been brought up / told that the Right are all evil bastards, and so you denigrate the Right, all the time unaware that you actually agree with most Right Wing policies. I mean, the kind of stuff you’re coming out with is just crazy! The Right liking bailouts??? What The Fuck??

    I’m sorry, not to be rude, but seriously:

    What.

    The.

    Fuck?

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  58. Galeandra (30 comments) says:

    Says Christopher ” The Right benefit from QE? But the Right are the ones with all the money, which QE drastically devalues… why the hell would the Right benefit from QE???”
    What’s so wrong with a nation choosing to support some of its business people/firms/icons /whatever? Why should the idea of ‘market’ impede any group of citizens or the national ‘collective’ from acting in unison? It seems that sometimes things get done more in line with societal needs that way. Those high-church types who believe in the sacrosanct rights of the individual often fail to acknowledge that the society they are part of makes it possible for them to celebrate their vaunted independence. Isn’t it time you accepted with gratitude your place in the happy state , even if you like to feel you are a cog with teeth? And IMO a damned vulgar one at that.

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  59. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Those high-church types who believe in the sacrosanct rights of the individual often fail to acknowledge that the society they are part of makes it possible for them to celebrate their vaunted independence.

    Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. Society does not make it possible. Society is the product of individual rights.

    And high-church types?

    If you mean that I’m right wing because of religion, then you can kiss my agnostic athiest backside.

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  60. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    To clarify: Not that I’m anti-religion, especially as a lot of right-wing christians generally seem to have their heads screwed on, but I’m not a churchy type. I don’t need a God upon which to base my philosophy.

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  61. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    GOH

    Listen I agree with you re the fact that currently every man and his dog goes to Uni, and I would debate the need for many of the courses that exist currently. However automatically writing off an Arts degree in the same point is also misleading, Arts covers a massive area, depending in part on the Uni, from Economics to social sciences, to history, to languages, politics, etc. Often the thing that is taught is critical thinking not so much the topic itself. Even degrees with supposid suited career path after (say accounting) what is learned in Uni is not so much applied, but rather the learning of the learning process, and how to write and research issues is.

    Yes I will not deny some go to Uni for the hell of it, but others do it to either a) get ahead or b) develop in an area they feel passionately about and go on in that area and allot of those contribute positively to society.

    I agree nursing, admin, secreteral work, etc should not be a degree rather apprenterships.

    So taking that all into account being a member of the generation that I am I have no problem with the system as it is, borrowing to live and pay a portion of my fees, as it was an investment in my future. I also have no problem with any benefit being bonded by the state, ie if the loan is interest free you have to be a tax paying resident, which you currently do. But I do fundamentally believe in the interest free part of student loans for students that remain in NZ, at least for a certain time period in that it makes it possible to pay it off and not start life pretty heavily indebited.

    I could by extension use your argument why the old cant be what it is now on super, i.e. then was 2%, currently 3.4% of GPD and it will be around 6.6%. I dont believe in that, but in the same time I do get sick of my generation being called leaches by some (not you) when as far as I can see we will be the opposite when all is said and done.

    If the above doesnt make sense my apologies, pretty shattered.

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  62. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    You’re right Christopher, what the fuck indeed. It seems like a fairly twisted system to me, maybe that’s why I’m so confused??? Can you please then tell me who the “Right” are then? Somebody must represent them? They seem awfully powerful?

    You see from where I sit, uneducated in the ways of money markets and all, George Bush is a Repubican, and he gave out 800 bailouts, and Obabma is a Democrat and HE gives bailouts, but all the money seems to go the rich people who as you point out quite well, already have most of the money!! But they all seemed to line up to take the money anyway even though they apparently don’t agree with the bailout, (according to you and you would know because you are really smart by the sound of it) – have these people no morals? Can you see why it might seem difficult to understand?? Wall Street puts a gun to it’s own head and says “if you don’t give me money I’ll shoot!” Weird.

    Then you explained really well why our Government had to implement a deposit guarantee scheme. Thank you for your patience. Bear with me a bit here, I’m confused again.

    You say that people would take all their money out and put it in Australian Banks (I thought they were all Australian banks anyway apart from crappy old KiwiBank which doesn’t really work according to the Right) and there would be a “run” on the banks. Isn’t that what the “real Right” advocates? Free market and no Government intervention? Call me Mr thicko peasant but I would have thought a deposit guarantee scheme WAS govt intervention. Well there you go. I suppose if it suits your way of thinking it must be right sometimes?

    I appreciated your explanation of the deposit/risk/reward system of banking though I think Frederick Soddy probably had a better handle on it than you, just a tad mind you. He reckoned:

    “Psychologically, the economic aim of the individual is, always has been, and probably always will be to
    secure a permanent revenue independent of further effort… Economic and social history is the conflict of
    this human aspiration with the laws of physics, which make such a per-petuum mobile impossible, and
    reduces the problem merely to the method by which one individual may get another individual or the
    community into its debt and prevent repayment, so that the individual or community must share the
    produce of their efforts with their creditor.” Frederick Soddy

    Sounds a bit sus to me.
    I would have thought that a financial system with currency based on debt, or that allows interest to be charged on loans, would be unstable and eventually implode, regardless of how efficient or technologically advanced an economy is? Maybe not….

    See you point out a paradox at the end of your post when you say:

    “Kaya, I think I know what has happened here. You’ve been brought up / told that the Right are all evil bastards, and so you denigrate the Right, all the time unaware that you actually agree with most Right Wing policies. I mean, the kind of stuff you’re coming out with is just crazy! The Right liking bailouts??? What The Fuck??”

    See my problem is that the Right have (in my mind) always been intrinsically linked to the financial markets and banking systems. Also I also believe that the current financial system in use in the “free world” makes Bernard Madoff and his Ponzi scheme look like Mother Theresa operating Meals on Wheels. Fractional reserve sounds awfully clever but it’s actually a very clever rort.
    My confusion obviously lies in the fact that the Right seem to be the ones who help maintain the status quo? Like you say, most of the time I agree with Right Wing policies, just some of the people involved seem to be dodgy bastards. Makes things tricky ay! Maybe it’s time we started creating our own money?
    Sorry for rambling a bit, as you can see I’m a bit of a confused thicko but I appreciate you helping me see things a bit more clearly.

    Or maybe the problem is that the system operates under a pretty dodgy scheme called fractional reserve banking?

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  63. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Jeff83 First let me say that I believe the policy of refusing wrinklies student loans may be rational but it is dumb dumb politics.
    It seems the powers that be believe we wrinklies do not have the ability to see the hypocrisy of one group a few fair of whom will go overseas and never pay their loans back versus a very small number of the old who receive student loans.

    Critical thinking, hmm, why do so many come out of university parchment in hand whose ability to use reason and logic is no better than mine ?
    One wonders what the universities are doing ?

    Yes I have a bias, for far too long we have lived off tourism and farming when it comes to the items we need to import, I would like to see us follow the ideas of Finland in making high value products.
    But to do that we need a lot more science and engineering graduates.
    The problem there is that so many kids seem to give maths away early, if I walked around the arts section of the university asking is the square root of a number always less than the number itself, I have an inkling I would get some blank stares .

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  64. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    You see from where I sit, uneducated in the ways of money markets and all, George Bush is a Repubican, and he gave out 800 bailouts

    … are you serious? This is seriously your argument for why the Right like bailouts? Because “George Bush is a Republican and Republicans are Right Wing and therefore this is a Right Wing idea”?

    John Key is (supposedly) centre-right. He supports a minimum wage. Does that make minimum wages a Right Wing policy? I hope you see my point.

    I thought they were all Australian banks anyway apart from crappy old KiwiBank which doesn’t really work according to the Right

    Then you thought incorrectly. Where would you get the idea that they are Australian banks? From the Kiwibank ad which bangs on about the “Australian-owned banks”? Do you have the slightest idea what it means for a bank to be a “New Zealand Bank”? (Hint: You might want to do peruse http://legislation.govt.nz)

    I appreciated your explanation of the deposit/risk/reward system of banking though I think Frederick Soddy probably had a better handle on it than you, just a tad mind you.

    I think it highly unlikely that Frederick Soddy had a better handle on it than me, seeing as Soddy is probably the laughing stock of the economics literature. I mean, he was an advocate for social credit for christ’s sake. Social Credit! He should’ve stuck to radiochemistry.

    there would be a “run” on the banks. Isn’t that what the “real Right” advocates? Free market and no Government intervention?

    Uhh, what? Perhaps I was a bit confusing when I wrote my first post. Let me break this down into steps:
    1. The Australian Government intervenes in the market, causing an imbalance
    2. In order to rescue the economy from the idiocy of Government, our Government must implement a similar scheme in order to avoid an executive imbalance

    Are you trying to suggest that the “real Right” would have preferred that Government stay the hell out in the first place? If so, then you’re correct, but that’s not what you actually said.

    See my problem is that the Right have (in my mind) always been intrinsically linked to the financial markets and banking systems.

    How are they linked? You mean that the Right support free markets? Because the banking system is a prime example of a “market” which was about as far from being free as you can possibly get (hence its failure). The financial markets are marginally more free (only marginally), but have been recently unbalanced by the heavy hand of Government. (I hope you know what I mean here – writing out a whole explanation for that on Kiwiblog is probably beyond my effort threshold – google is your friend.)

    My confusion obviously lies in the fact that the Right seem to be the ones who help maintain the status quo?

    What on earth are you talking about?

    I’m putting a few of your statements together, and it seems to me that you identify certain people as “the Right” and then say “ooh, look, the Right did that!”

    You realise it’s meant to be the opposite, right? Specifically, the idea is to identify Right-wing policies and then place individuals on a Left-Right spectrum based on their economic views.

    I’m really not sure whether your responses are meant to be taking the piss or not, but I’ll assume you’re genuine and point you to a few handy links:

    Firstly, we have Conservativism. This is what a lot of people in the U.S. identify as being Right Wing. It’s a convenient media label I guess, because a lot of their economic views are reasonably Right Wing, but they’re not truly “Right”.

    I don’t want to speak for him, but I would describe Redbaiter as a Conservative, as well as guys like PhilBest (maybe? sorry if that’s wrong, Phil)

    For a comparison, I’m a Minarchist. Minarchists are, to my mind, the quintessential “Right”. Also known as Liberals, Classical Liberals, and Libertarians, Minarchists such as I believe in freedom in its true sense. (By that I mean that “modern liberals” have invented a concept called “positive freedom”, which bears no relationship to true freedom and is simply designed to hijack the term “freedom” in order to play on its positive connotations.)

    I think Wreck could also be described as a minarchist, though again not sure. Clint Heine certainly is. DPF leans this way himself, though not nearly so much as I do.

    I hope this clears things up a little for you. You honestly do seem a bit confused. That’s ok, my sister didn’t know what Left and Right meant until somebody told her at University!

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  65. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Critical thinking, hmm, why do so many come out of university parchment in hand whose ability to use reason and logic is no better than mine ?
    One wonders what the universities are doing ?

    Yes I have a bias, for far too long we have lived off tourism and farming when it comes to the items we need to import, I would like to see us follow the ideas of Finland in making high value products.
    But to do that we need a lot more science and engineering graduates.
    The problem there is that so many kids seem to give maths away early, if I walked around the arts section of the university asking is the square root of a number always less than the number itself, I have an inkling I would get some blank stares .

    Actually kind of shocking to hear you say this GOH, because I agree completely. Critical thinking is reserved mainly for science students, it seems, and even then you wouldn’t believe the pressure for researchers to follow the orthodoxy. There are some pretty horrible tales of academic suppression floating around the science buildings at Otago, if you listen carefully enough.

    The proliferation of easy Arts degrees also has the nasty side effect of forcing me to do more and more education simply to differentiate myself from the masses. Back in the day, if you had a degree, you knew your shit. These days, it’s often more indicative of knowing, well, shit all.

    What I really dislike is the academic Left who dump on the trades so much that guys who should’ve been carpenters or joiners feel that they ‘have to’ go to uni, where they inevitably end up doing something they don’t want to do and aren’t very good at. I’m about as Right Wing as they come, and I have a healthy respect for men with skills. There’s a kid I know who’s a brilliant mechanic. He’s just ‘got it’, you know? That dude’s got it made, I reckon, if he keeps his eyes on the prize.

    Anyway, if the Left weren’t around sucking up all the resources, Uni would be a lot cheaper, the degrees woulds mean more, and I could have happily spent 3 years getting a tough bachelors degree on a commercial loan which would get me a good job rather than having to spend 6 years here getting two degrees with honours just to poke my head above the swarm of Arts graduates.

    /rant

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  66. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Christopher

    This has really got off subject but it’s interesting!

    You’re correct in what you say re my attitude to the whole left – right thing, my only knowledge of it is what I read and hear in the media (I didn’t do uni so don’t have a dictionary definition of political leanings). Aren’t you just saying that you are more right than anyone else?

    Seems to me that it’s just all about how far either side of the middle you are? All those labels sound like a lot of academic wank to me, and seriously – no offence meant by that. You have done a good job putting your point of view to me whether I agree with it or not. I definitely have a better understanding of what YOU call “right wing” but I know what I mean when I refer to it loosely. Anyway, where do I find a list of right wing policies or is that dependent on who I talk to? I’m a big fan of the KISS principle. All the political point scoring and academic discussion seems to get FA done.

    On those points you made:

    Are the banks ultimately NZ owned or not?! (I am not reading through reams of bollocky legislation looking for a legal definition) and if not then why are Kiwi Bank allowed to “bang on” about this in their ads?
    A quote form the Reserve Bank website says: “This means that about 85 per cent of New Zealand’s banks, measured by total assets, are now Australian-owned.” Are they or not?

    Next you point out:

    “1. The Australian Government intervenes in the market, causing an imbalance
    2. In order to rescue the economy from the idiocy of Government, our Government must implement a similar scheme in order to avoid an executive imbalance”

    I understand when you say the right would have preferred if the Government hadn’t got involved in the first place but are you saying that the Australian action justifies another intervention?? That would mean that two interventions make a right? Wouldn’t minarchism say “fuck it, let’s just see what happens?”

    Your next point:
    “The banking system is a prime example of a “market” which was about as far from being free as you can possibly get (hence its failure). The financial markets are marginally more free (only marginally), but have been recently unbalanced by the heavy hand of Government.”

    So are you saying the financial markets would have been OK if the Government hadn’t intervened?
    Do you disagree that the financial market’s method of packaging “products” and selling them was nothing but an elaborate scam and was doomed to completely implode (and may well still do) if it hadn’t been propped up with taxpayer’s money? That it was the complete lack of intervention that caused the problem in the first place? That the freedom you advocate for the market allowed it to be hijacked bunch of crooks and thieves who have robbed people blind for decades to come? What is free about that? Sounds like slavery to me.

    On that basis and after reading your posts again I still prefer Soddy’s approach to economic theory over yours. It definitely sounds much better than the present rort of fractional reserve banking. A system that is a mathematical impossibility with a money supply that grows to infinity.
    Anyway, from what I can gather, economic theory changes about as often as Paris Hilton’s boyfriend’s. What was gospel yesterday is bollocks the today. Put 2 economists in a room and you’ll get 3 theories. Wasn’t Greenspan the great saviour of capitalism? Even he is admitting he might have gotten a couple of things a tad wrong.

    As to whether or not Social Credit is a joke, here’s a link to Wikipedia where a couple of people on your academic level are having a discussion along those lines. http://tinyurl.com/n8zttm

    My vote goes with the social credit guy. He is way more reasonable in his debating. The other person is as dismissive and emotive as you about it.

    The more I read over your post the more it seems that your argument is purely academic and theoretical so in that respect I can’t debate you on an equal footing – I never studied the topic – thank fuck. Your opinion is yours, not mine, that’s why it’s an opinion.
    Anyway, to the original point. My definition of YOUR interpretation of “far right” was wrong. My original points about the right based on MY definition of the right was still spot on.

    ALLOW OVER 65’s THE SAME ACCESS TO EDUCATION AS THE REST OF US!!!! THAT’S ALL I WAS TRYING TO SAY!!

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