Lee, the problem with your “promise big, deliver moderate” theory is that so far Key has nor promised much at all, and suggested a few more possibilities. It’s still three months until the budget, so a lot can happen in that time – hopefully a lot will happen and be added to the restructuring plans.
Trying to do a decent budget based on public reaction is impossible, as someone suggested yesterday, “the people” don’t want a fiscally neutral budget, everyone wants something out of it for themselves and for all “the other” things to be fixed.
My (possibly futile) wish is that the best things for the future benefit of the country as a whole, and therefore for most New Zealanders, will be at the forefront of criteria for change. I’m worried that they will succumb to not frightening the National voting horses.
This Iran Gmail thing, together with the Chinese Google fracas, suggests to me that the light is starting to fade on American multinational corporations. Asia and the Islamic world are beginning to seriously challenge US dominance.
I’m not commenting on whether this is a good or bad thing…. just noting the developments. Expect the future to be very rocky for Apple, Microsoft and MacDonalds.
FFS. What’s worse: a PM who thinks revenue neutral tax cuts will help NZ, or one who thinks you can reform a broken and dying country without breaking a few eggs and while keeping the Maori Party happy? Either way, we get tax reform designed by bludgers and people so spectacularly out of the touch with how the world works that they think NZ would benefit from a new name.
“Key says he will cancel plans to raise GST if evidence shows people will be worse off.”
This is very disappointing. I’m sure Key will apply qualifications to the comment but this opens up all sorts of groups to claim they will be worse off.
Criminals will be worse off. Income is non-taxable so tax PAYE reductions won’t benefit them. And they pay for some stuff presumably (they can’t steal everything they need) so a GST increase will make them worse off.
“Criminals will be worse off. Income is non-taxable so tax PAYE reductions won’t benefit them”
Actually the income from criminal activity IS taxable. Collecting it is hard, but in the “old” days before laws allowing confiscation of cash and assets relating to drugs for instance the police would routinely get IRD in to assess tax (equal to the amount of found cash typically).
I believe there is still a special unit within IRD dedicated to taxing criminals. It’s largely staffed by ex-police.
I know criminal income is legally taxable, but in practice how much is actually declared?
Another group who could be worse off are self employed and small businesses that partly deal under the table.
And there has to be groups or subgroups operating legitimately who will also be worse off. “People” will be worse off. Or less advantaged than others. This opens up even more opportunities for moaning, and more pressure on Key not to upset anyone.
I think National are selling this thing completely wrong. It doesn’t suit “ordinary bloke being fair to everyone”. It needs strong leadership selling the common good.
A country with unsustainable levels of government spending, the single largest component of which is welfare, will inevitably have to make some people worse-off – in the short term – if it is to be put on the path to prosperity. Currently we are on the other path. The path of accelerating decline.
You can’t make an omellete with breaking a few eggs.
The grasshopper can’t play all summer.
And you can’t turn a country around without a backbone and some vision.
Senior Chinese military officers have proposed that their country boost defense spending, adjust PLA deployments, and possibly sell some U.S. bonds to punish Washington for its latest round of arms sales to Taiwan.
The potential flip-flop is a symptom, not the problem. Nothing wrong with a flip flop if the facts change. If John Key flip-flopped to a bolder set of tax and spending reforms it would be very welcome indeed.
That ‘flip-flop’ has become a sin bordering on treason is to the detriment of good government and a reflection on how far political debate to been reduced to sound-bites and childishness. IMHO.
Apple, Microsoft and Maccas will be around for alot longer than the current regimes in Iran and China.
They will fall,it’s a matter of time,maybe not tomorrow or next year but 5,10 or 20.
Each faces a huge growth in the “revolution of rising expectations” and young people who see what the west has and wants that too.(materially not spiritually, in the latter department we are largely bankrupt)
Yeah, that’s a bit of a hoot, trying to claim the fight to reveal the birth certificate is as big as the fight against communism. Maybe they should start up another House Committee on Un-American Activities!
With the Republican Party considering a purity test and tea party speaker Tom Tancredo suggesting reinstating ‘Literacy Tests’ for voters another House Committee on Un-American Activities isn’t such a far fetched idea.
Claims made by the University of East Anglia that man-made emissions are causing global warming are to be reassessed by a team of independent scientists.
The university today announced a new inquiry into reports published by its Climatic Research Unit after acknowledging that public confidence in climate science had been undermined by the leaking of e-mails.
Mike NZ at 10.31 points to the Spectator report on apparent British media self-censorship on the alleged Labour conspiracy to racially re-engineer the United Kingdom for political purposes to Labour’s advantage (link repeated below).
Perhaps countries that have a glass-house MSM, like NZ’s, shouldn’t throw rocks at the UK’s media. The ethnic change that has occurred in NZ began under former National Cabinet Minister Aussie Malcolm and many other NZ ex-politicians have since been involved in the lucrative immigration industry. NZ’s MSM self-censorship has stifled any discussion and debate of the huge ethnic change occurring, beyond this MSM enthusiastically supporting, even directly and indirectly promoting the change to a “multicultural” society (from a bicultural one).
Regardless of any benefits that may have occurred, there has been no debate and no overt political mandate for the ethnic change in NZ. Compare this with the Treaty of Waitangi and the century and a half adjustments that continue until now from the only previous equivalent ethic re-engineering of NZ.
If British Labour has in fact been covertly racist on a vast scale, has something similar occurred in our own country?
Dear Wellington City Council, two things, first, please sort out some more adequate parking in this city. Second, please make sure the methods for payment by which we’re expected to park work. I was due at lunch at Dockside at 1pm on Friday 12 Feb. Shortly after that time I tried to find somewhere nearby to park but found both above and below ground options around the waterfront complex absolutely full. So I went for a drive in the inner city to try and find a pay and display option, and eventually found one in Stout St at about 1.15. Did the meter in Stout St recognise my (almost brand new) credit card? NO Could I TXT park? NO, that failed also, after multiple efforts. I, like the vast majority of the public no longer carry coins everywhere. At about 1.30, in the rain and not willing to risk a $40 or $50 fine for illegal parking I called my lunch partners and told them I’d been foiled by this horrid little third world city and would be returning to the office. For God’s sake get this city working!!!
Thanks Mike, I’ll have a decent read of that tonight.
I’m aware of many of the problems with Islam. But I don’t think it’s a certainty that any Muslim settling in largely Christian or secular countries is a risk. It’s possible some will come here and settle happily into their own version of a Kiwi way of life. For example Chinese immigrants were much feared and criticised and taxed in the 1800′s and they have proven to be good citizens. I’d like to think we can give ethnicities and religions the benefit of the doubt in the absence of local evidence of greater than normal potential problems. It must be the Christian influence on my values that makes me think that way.
You are stretching things comparing the peaceful, hounded Chinese miners of the 140 years ago with Islamists who come to New Zealand today.
However, even those Chinese in NZ were treated far more humanely than China treats many Tibetans and Uighurs in “Greater China”.
Regarding your uber-tolerance for non-Westerners, Pete George. Your Christian influence must be of the extreme liberal Anglican type – the homeopathy of Christianity. The only thing left for these milksops to dislike is the Western way of life.
Interestingly, it was an Otago Presbyterian minister who fought hard for the rights of Chinese miners, in the days when Presbyterianism was for robust, God-fearing individualists.
Pete, bring yourself to actually type just what immigrant group did get involved in unions?
Fintan Patrick Walsh, the feared and toughest by far of the unionsts , was born near Gisborne as Fintan Patrick Tuohy. Some of our leading Labour-unionist folk were our Australian cousins – Michael Joseph Savage, Robert Semple, William Parry, and Patrick Webb.
In true PC style you hint about the union strife of the 50s through to the 70s, when union voices on radio often were working-class British accents. These contrasted with faux-British- elite accents of radio reporters of those days.
This was followed by resentment at persistent and strident criticism of NZ by British-accented local intellectuals like Brian Edwards. Then came national insecurity when Britain entered the EU and ended long-standing market arrangements for our exports.
The worst came when racist radio hacks from Auckland whipped up racist, anti-British hysteria, which far exceeds any current racism in NZ. At the height, it was incitement to “bash a Pom”.
Did you give the British migrants a fair go then, Pete George? I hope your dredging up of the union stirrer prejudice doesn’t reflect an old buried prejudice against the Brits.
The truth is, as the American psychologist, Gordon Allport, pointed out in his fine 1954 book, The Nature of Prejudice, , the latest wave or waves of migrants always meet the most prejudice. Often the biggest bigots are from the immediately preceding wave.
And yes Pete, I’m NZ born, and no, none of my forebears were English.
Thanks for pissing me off, MikeNZ. How can “tiny Israel” (a phrase often used by friends of Israel) produce something like that? Let’s check the CIA factbook:
Israel – pop. 7.2m – GDP US$205b
New Zealand – pop. 4.2 m – GDP US$116b
Hmmm, not as tiny as us, but hardly a giant like China. They have an industrial base capable of producing an iPhone-beating prototye. Huh?
Unfair comparison, some might say. OK, let’s try Finland, the home of Nokia:
Finland – pop. 5.2m – GDP US$180b
Only 25% more people, but 50% more GDP and the originator of the mass-market mobile phone? How did that happen?
Now here’s a number that should make anytruly proud Kiwi sick and angry:
Singapore – pop. 4.6m – GDP US$234b
Has the equivalent of only another Christchurch in population, yet its GDP is DOUBLE and could produce a iPhone in a flash if it wanted!
Other small countries have sufficiently advanced industrial and technology sectors and can be truly considered “developed”. Why don’t we and can’t we? Because we’re not a First World economy and we aren’t earning a First World income, that’s why! Why don’t enough people get it?
New Zealand has too many statist-worshiping, income-redistributing welfare addicts voting for gutless, pathetic, visionless politicians who are selling our country’s future down the river for more welfare and income redistribution. We need to harden the fuck up and smarten the fuck up before the rest of Asia gets as rich as Singapore and we become the paupers of the Pacific!
My feelings exactly, I must admit that I have become less and less interested in rugby with each passing year but when the greedy bastards start eating into my cricket season then I really get pissed off.
IMF’s top economist suggests higher inflation target
* Bob Davis
* From: The Wall Street Journal
* February 12, 2010 12:32PM
Inflation debate: Olivier Blanchard, the International Monetary Fund’s top economist. Source: Bloomberg
THE International Monetary Fund’s top economist, Olivier Blanchard, says central bankers should consider aiming for a higher inflation rate than they now do to lessen the chances of a repeat of the recent severe recession.
Mr Blanchard, a macroeconomist on leave from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that the global economic downturn revealed flaws in macroeconomic policy, especially the reliance primarily on interest rates to manage economies. Although Japan had fallen into a decade-long funk despite low inflation, “most people convinced themselves that the Japanese didn’t know what they were doing,” he said in an interview.
In a new paper with two other IMF economists, Giovanni Dell’Ariccia and Paolo Mauro, Mr Blanchard says policymakers need to consider radically different approaches to deal with major banking crises, pandemics or terrorist attacks. In particular, the IMF paper suggests shooting for a higher level inflation in “normal time in order to increase the room for monetary policy to react to such shocks”. Central banks may want to target 4 per cent inflation, rather than the 2 per cent target that most central banks now try to achieve, the IMF paper says.
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At 4 per cent inflation rate, Mr Blanchard says, short-term interest rates in placid economies likely would be around 6 per cent to 7 per cent, giving central bankers far more room to cut rates before they get near zero, after which it’s nearly impossible to cut short-term rates further. “Now we realise that if we had a few hundred extra basis points” — one hundredth of a per cent — “to rely on, that would have helped” fight the recent downturn, says Mr Blanchard. “So it would have been good to start with a higher nominal rate. The only way to get there is higher inflation.”
For decades the IMF has pressed countries to slash inflation and counts as a major accomplishment its success in convincing governments in Latin America, Africa and elsewhere to abandon the idea that they could inflate their way to prosperity. But Mr Blanchard says the IMF should lead the rethinking necessary in the wake of the worst recession since World War II.
Most big-country central bankers, recalling the mistakes they made that led to high inflation rates in the 1970s and 1980s, aren’t likely to immediately embrace the IMF advice. They remain convinced that keeping inflation low, and persuading markets that they will do so, remains critically important. John Taylor, a Stanford University monetary-policy specialist who served in the Bush administration Treasury, says that inflation could become hard to constrain if the target is raised. “If you say it’s 4 per cent, why not 5 per cent or 6 per cent?” Mr Taylor said. “There’s something that people understand about zero inflation.”
Mr Blanchard argues that there isn’t much difference in maintaining inflation at 2 per cent or 4 per cent. Tax brackets could be adjusted so that higher inflation, by itself, doesn’t push taxpayers into higher tax rates. Inflation-adjusted bonds could protect investors. The paper notes the possibility that inflation could jump higher if governments start adjusting wages automatically for inflation, “but the question remains whether these costs are outweighed by the potential benefits” in terms of avoiding zero interest rates.
The new IMF paper — “Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy” — also says that central banks could use regulatory weaponry to try to prick asset bubbles before they grow dangerously large. Relying exclusively on raising interest rates to do such work risks damage to the broader economy, an argument that Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has made.
“If leverage appears excessive, regulatory capital ratios can be increased,” the paper says. “To dampen housing prices, loan-to-value ratios can be decreased; to limit stock price increases, margin requirements can be increased.”
Mr Blanchard says governments should rethink the design of automatic stabilisers — spending increases or tax cuts that are triggered by a recession. The classic stabiliser is unemployment insurance, spending on which increases automatically as more workers lose jobs. Governments could design new programs that have more bang for the buck, he says, such as an automatic reduction in taxpayer bills when the gross domestic product declines by a certain percentage. Another possibility: an investment tax credit that takes effect when economic activity slows down. “Companies would get it automatically without Congress having to vote on it,” Mr Blanchard says.
what is it about well known sportsmen with too much time and money .. 1st we here Chelsea’s John Terry is shagging his mates missus, as were 4 others it seems, and now Ashley Cole is taking pxts of his meat and two veg which get sent to a “model” who in turn, sends pxts/videos of herself naked doing rude things to herself .. sigh
What is it about fraud the Smith doesn’t understand?
Government ‘cautious’ after climate change authority’s error
6:51 PM Friday Feb 12, 2010
Nick Smith says the Government will be more cautious when it comes to deciding climate change policy. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Nick Smith says the Government will be more cautious when it comes to deciding climate change policy. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Errors said to be have been made by the organisation charged with the job of determining the scientific truths about climate change have led the Government to take a “cautious” approach to its own climate change policies.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishes reports which are used by governments around the world to guide their policies, but concerns have been raised after a series of potential inaccuracies were highlighted by media.
The last report, issued in 2007, said it was likely that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. A British newspaper investigated the IPCC’s claim and found that it was likely to have been based on a 1999 interview with an obscure Indian scientist.
“In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report,” read part of an article in London’s Sunday Times.
In an article which will appear in this weekend’s edition of the Listener, Environment Minister Nick Smith says “the fact that there are errors in the IPCC report is of concern.”
Dr Smith says the errors would “inevitably” have an effect on New Zealand’s climate change policy, but that the Government would take a cautious approach to any changes made.
“I’ve had calls from people who want us to abandon or defer the Emissions Trading Scheme,” he said. “That’s not what the Government is going to do.”