Jones on asset sales

July 5th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

writes in the Herald:

 Defending the contentious policy, the Prime Minister argues he was open about his party’s intentions before the last election and thus has a mandate. The openness was commendable but not so his assumption. His party would still have won if it had also proposed publicly hanging the unemployed, which, mind you, when one quietly considers it, does have some merit.

I look forward to all the outraged comments that Jones advocating hanging beneficiaries.

After all, public hangings were immensely popular entertainments in Britain, drawing enormous crowds and in the process creating much happiness and gainful work, (hangmen for example) plus considerable food and beverage, manufacturing and purveying employment. The sole shortcoming with the public hanging industry though was its brevity.

This was resolved by introducing multiple successive hangings, thereby ensuring a decent day’s family outing and a corresponding greater demand for food and drinks. Learning from this, boxing promoters of the day introduced preliminary bouts; these multiple hangings and preliminary fights initiatives marking yet another giant stride forward in the march of civilisation.

Heh.

Our existing dams are monopolies, thanks to the greenies’ wrong assertion that they always damage the environment. They certainly can do, such as the ill-considered enormous Mekong dam planned by Laos, which likely will be stopped by the other Mekong nations. But in New Zealand? I don’t think so.

Rather than wreck the environment, they’ve enhanced it. Prior to the construction (despite the then massive public protest) of the huge South Island dams, the top end of the food chain in the rivers to be dammed were brown trout, averaging in weight at maturity, rarely more than 3lb. Today, Otago newspapers regularly show photos of anglers holding 15lb and upwards trout, caught from these dam-created lakes.

Have a chat to nymphs, cockabullies and the other diverse lake life, all the way up the food chain, and they’ll tell you they’re now living the life of Riley, having escaped the arduous river existence of their ancestors.

Additionally, the lakes have created yachting, boating, lakeside residences and other pluses. Nevertheless, as the greenies are currently in the policy ascendancy and people enjoying themselves always hugely upsets them, new dams are out.

I agree a dam can have many benefits. But I don’t think dams are monopolies. They compete with other dams and other sources of power. We have a competitive market and price for electricity – 400,000 people swapped provider last year. The ultimate proof.

What puzzles me is why the Government doesn’t sell TVNZ. The rationale for owning it was to ensure quality public broadcasting. It’s hardly debatable that TVNZ’s fare is, with few exceptions, a diet of populist trash, yet inexplicably, its one attempt to create a channel providing a degree of quality broadcasting it’s now closing.

TVNZ should be sold, and the capital used to fund a public broadcaster.

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49 Responses to “Jones on asset sales”

  1. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    TVNZ should be sold, and the capital used to fund a public broadcaster.

    Yes, that’s the logical way to deal with both TVNZ and public broadcasting. I suggested this a couple of days ago on Red Alert and strangely it has been ignored.

    But it wouldn’t be a straight one for one deal as a one off sale price would need to cover ongoing annual costs. And National would have trouble doing it this term becausethey didn’t campaign on it last year.

    Another option would be for TVNZ profits to fund public broadcasting, but they may deliberately make low profits to kneecap public broadcasting, again.

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  2. peterwn (3,307 comments) says:

    NZ has just experienced something akin to a public hanging – a televised car crushing with even the corpse disposal being a public spectacle.

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  3. Manolo (14,065 comments) says:

    Shouldn’t we start with the despised crim, bludger, and unemployed we know?
    I’m all for it. :D

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  4. KiwiGreg (3,259 comments) says:

    “TVNZ should be sold.”

    There fixed it for you.

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  5. Colville (2,300 comments) says:

    peterwn @ 7.25.. If the crushing had the teenage fuckwit still inside the car it would have been a real winner!

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  6. RRM (10,020 comments) says:

    There’s so much tall poppy syndrome in New Zealand.

    I mean, look at all those people hating on “Sir” Robert Jones, just because he’s an arsehole…

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  7. Grendel (1,004 comments) says:

    Yep RRM, and its good we live in a country where its still permissable to be an arsehole, otherwise you’d also be fucked!

    caveat, as lefties go you are usually less of an arsehole, but you are showing your colours here a bit. people ‘hate’ on bob jones because he is successful and becuase he does not take shit from the chattering classes and PC brigade. does that mean he can be a bit boorish sometimes, sure, but so what? the more rabid of your mates would hate him no matter what becuase he is prepared to make money and not be ashamed of doing so.

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  8. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    dare i say it..?..a tad ‘laboured’..?

    ..and if we are going down this unfortunate path..should we not deal with those ripping off nz most..?

    ..like/starting with those richest of the rich..who were busted avoiding paying $50 mill in tax..?

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  9. Grendel (1,004 comments) says:

    oh look its phil and his envy. id rather we focus on those who can work but choose not to druggie.

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  10. AG (1,832 comments) says:

    Is Bob Jones’ solution to everything “make a lake!”? Regeneration of Christchurch city center? Make a lake! Electricity generation? Make a lake! Can’t get the lid off a jam jar? Make a lake!

    But more pertinently, I note that DPF has left out this bit of Jones’ column:

    “I believe the function of government is to govern and not own businesses. But, in the latest asset sales furore, I found myself sympathising with the protesters. Here’s why.
    Since the advent of the industrial revolution every business has sought the bliss of a monopoly. The competitive market economy denies that, except in unique situations, such as for example with our hydro electricity generating dams. So why sell them?
    Here the Government becomes a little slippery. To reduce debt, says the Finance Minister, despite our public debt being low by world standards and interest rates never being lower. To enable future capital-raising, argues the PM, overlooking that if, as an appeasement to objectors, the Government intends retaining half ownership, it will still be up for 50 per cent of any capital-raising while receiving only half the previous dividend return.”

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  11. Rick Rowling (815 comments) says:

    Lakes.

    Lakes are good if they’re caused by geological accident, volcanoes, massive landslides, very busy beavers.

    Lakes are bad if they’re caused by devices that produce renewable, carbon-free energy.

    Go figure.

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  12. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    surely the surprise/headline from that column from jones isn’t..’lets hang the unemployed!’..(yawn..!..wasn’t he saying that in the 70’s..?)..

    …it’s:..’rightwinger bob jones comes out against the asset-sales…and destroys the govts’ reasons/arguments for this decision..’..?

    that’s what i’ve gone with…

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  13. Paulus (2,664 comments) says:

    I think we should have an enquiry, conducted by the Auditor General, Law Commission, the XYZ Commission, or anybody.
    The Greenpeace think so.

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  14. iMP (2,422 comments) says:

    Culture is vital in a nation, especially a small one like NZ. We do need a few key iconic culture-shaping monopolies or thingies to preserve NZ-ness in the market place otherwise we give ourselves over to being managed by Malls (or end up like Auckland). But 51% ownership would be fine. I would place TVNZ, AirNZ, RadioNZ and the NZ Post service and one bank (say Kiwibank) in this category. There are just some things that should be unchangeable NZ pillars owned by Govt.

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  15. Michael Mckee (1,091 comments) says:

    DPF deliberately left out the bit of a column that criticized Nationals position, whatever next!

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  16. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i mean..sheesh..!..when bob jones is telling you how wrong the asset-sales idea is..

    ..does that not even give you pause for thought..?

    ..esp you grendel..?..holding him in demi-god status as you do..?

    ..eh..?

    ..are you for or against the asset-sales..?..and why..?

    ..and if for..is it because of the reasons jones rubbishes..?

    ..please explain..

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  17. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    Actually Andrew Geddis and the drug fucked loon, Sir Bob is not saying that asset sales are wrong – his implication is that the government should be selling 100% of the asset.

    If either of you were halfway intelligent you would realise that.

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  18. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    [Jones] His party would still have won if it had also proposed publicly hanging the unemployed, which, mind you, when one quietly considers it, does have some merit.

    Yeah, in the same way as lining up property investors/speculators against a wall does I suppose. Who needs ‘em.

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  19. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    mr nui..what do you fail to comprehend about ..

    “..Since the advent of the industrial revolution every business has sought the bliss of a monopoly. The competitive market economy denies that, except in unique situations, such as for example with our hydro electricity generating dams.

    So why sell them?..”

    i see no ‘implication’ to sell 100% there..do you..?

    ..he is saying..why breakup yr monopoly..?

    ..that’s what my ‘halfway-intelligence’ is telling me..eh…?

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  20. Grendel (1,004 comments) says:

    course i am for asset sales Phil, the govt has no business owning anything, they are crap at running them.

    sell the power companies, reform the RMA to allow for actual competition without the bleating of unemployable greenies (phil and penny et al) and watch power prices plunge as companies fight for market share.

    how about you explain phil how you cannot get a job when your oldest is a teenager and out of the house most of the day? i just hired someone whos daughter just started school. if she can manage 20 hrs a week with a 5 year old, surely you can manage at least that with a teenager?

    ~~~&8-please explain… “~~^^

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  21. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    so grendel..(sorry i can’t play swapping insults anymore..demerits..y’know..!’)

    ..but back on the topic of the thread..

    ..so you disagree with the arguments posed by jones..?

    ..could you focus on detailing just why..?

    ..or have you not thought that long/hard about it..?

    ..and i think jones arguments can be summed-up as:.

    ..there is no logical/economics-reason for these sales…

    .it is just blind-ideology..

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  22. onthenumber8 (20 comments) says:

    On TVNZ.

    I would like to see TV2 sold, and TV1 retained to be converted to a public service channel. TV1 has far greater capacity to serve the public on a large scale without having to modify a great deal, especially with respect to infrastructure. All you need to do is take away the ads, stop the cooking shows and slap the news journalists in the face and you’re there.

    I would also like to see at least half of NZ on Air funding specifically redirected to the dedicated new channel and the rest shared between 2, 3 and others.

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  23. Grendel (1,004 comments) says:

    Phil i told you why. and jones argued against partial sales, not full sales. do try and keep up…~~%%

    your dedication to ganja, and freeloading off the rest of us, is that logical or just blind (and stoned) ideaology.

    also you have not answered my question about your work habits, please focus on detailing why you choose not to work with a teenager when others work with new entrants to school?

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  24. AG (1,832 comments) says:

    @Rick Rowling: “Lakes are bad if they’re caused by devices that produce renewable, carbon-free energy.”

    What are Dams made out of? What is created when producing the stuff Dams are made out of?

    @mister nui: “Sir Bob is not saying that asset sales are wrong – his implication is that the government should be selling 100% of the asset.”

    That’s your interpretation of Jones’ meanderings. And you may be right (although his discussion of monopolies suggests not). However, seeing as that isn’t the policy on the table, what we can say is that he thinks National’s proposal sucks. A part of the column DPF didn’t choose to extract.

    And that is all.

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  25. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Because PhilU….to me ,you and every other taxpayer they are NOT assets,,,, they drain money AWAY from us to sustain them. In short…they are liabilities.

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  26. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    It’s not actually clear if Jones supports the assets sales. Certainly he points out the risk for the government if the companies wish to raise more capital in the future. That may mean he thinks 100% should be sold, or not. He has mentioned the argument that the sales are necessary to reduce debt and/or provide capital for other projects, but did not address it.

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  27. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..In short…they are liabilities…”

    um..!..no..they pay dividends to the govt..far in excess of the costs of any debt held by them..

    ..the govts’ books will be worse off after the sales..(that’s according to treasury..)

    ..cd you expain..how exactly you see that scenario as a ‘liability’ on the rest of the country..?

    ..are you like the govt on this..?

    ..driven not by any semblance of economic-rationality..

    ..but just by the ideology..?

    ..it would seem thus..

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  28. AG (1,832 comments) says:

    It’s not clear exactly what Jones intends by his ramblings, except to prove how OUTRAGEOUS! he is. (What is it with aging men and the need to show how “un-PC” and “controversial” they are … Laws, Holmes, Henry, Roughan – is it the impending fear of death and a desire to attract attention just to show they ain’t in the grave yet?)

    But when Jones says “I believe the function of government is to govern and not own businesses. But, in the latest asset sales furore, I found myself sympathising with the protesters.”, I think it is fair to interpret him as unconvinced by the National Party’s policy (especially given that those protesters are the sort of wet, hairy liberals he’d usually shoot in a barrel). Whether he thinks a different policy (full sale/no sale/whatever) would be better is then a bit irrelevant.

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  29. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..and jones argued against partial sales, not full sales…”

    he made the case against any sales…

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  30. Grendel (1,004 comments) says:

    Funny how phil wont listen to the answers given to the questions he asks but also refuses to answer the questions he is asked.

    almost as if he is completely wasted and cannot focus on whats going on but is stuck in some drug loop repeating the same drivel over and over again?

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  31. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    ok grendel..so you can’t really explain why..on economic-terms..you support the asset-sales..?

    don’t worry..you aren’t alone..

    ..most others can’t see the/any reasons for either..

    ..like bob jones..?

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  32. Grendel (1,004 comments) says:

    oh phil, are you reframing your question becuase you did not like the answer you were first given?

    from an economic perspective, govt owning business is a bad idea becuase it reduces the chance of competition, due to regulatory risk that the govt will simply change the laws in favour of their own businesses, and screw the private businesses. this increases the barriers to entry, which reduces the amount of competition for consumers, overly inflating the prices of those businesses products. remove govt from the mix, and open up to a ‘free’ market, you reduce the barriers to entry, increase the competition, decrease the price to consumers. govt in business, creates a shackle on business.

    so now you explain why, on economic, social and ‘fairness’ terms why its ok for you to parasite off the rest of us when you are quite capable of working?

    right now you could be out doing something useful, like digging a ditch or working the drive through at mcdonalds. anything that will contribute to society, rather than sitting on your chuff, living off those who do work.

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  33. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    PhilU um..!..no..they pay dividends TO THE GOVT..far in excess of the costs of any debt held by them..

    Correct….now think on that a while….

    I’ll help you……..a dollar taken by a politician and spent in one way cannot also be kept and spent by a taxed payer in another way at the same time……now…you work out the rest…

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  34. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    grendel..in yr ideological rant..you ignored the main argument presented by jones..as in why kill the golden goose..

    ..and we are talking basics of life here..energy-resources..

    ..we aren’t talking factories making widgets..(to which yr arguments could apply..)

    ..and to my mind it is govts’ job to ensure the protection of those essentials of life for the people of new zealand..

    ..not to flog them off to the elites that own all the other businesses screwing us blind…

    ..(ask any passing tourist..just how much we new zealanders are being screwed every which way…for the basics of life…)

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  35. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    are you a rand-ite..scorned..?

    ..arguing for no govt..’taxation is theft’..’the poor can just rot in the gutter’..yada-yada..etc..?

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  36. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    The original real assets in the whole equation was the personal control over, and choice of how a Kiwis earned dollar was spent or invested. Coercive state taxation to build these “assets” destroyed this real asset. Selling the liabilities off for their best price into the private market so their best value can be extracted and reducing the taxation and the size of the state would be the greatest asset return to Mr and Mrs NZ possible.

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  37. Grendel (1,004 comments) says:

    i am allowed to disagree with Bob Jones, i see the point of his argument, (though you are overstating it), but disagree.

    in your idealogical (or drug induced) stupor you missed the point that by releasing to the private market, will increase supply and decrease price, which will help save money on these supposed basics of life.

    of course an argument could also be made that the money we waste on paying losers who can work but refuse to, could easily pay for more assistance to those who actually need help. So do the right thing to help those most in need, get off the benefit!

    So just to clarify you beleive the govt should still own telecom? that they are screwing us blind now that there is competition and prices have dropped like a stone every year since they got competition? i bet that misses your ideaological/drug induced bias.

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  38. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Taxation IS a form of theft……please explain how its extraction from peoples pockets under threat of force isn’t?

    A Govt is necessary….but only a small rights protecting one….what other purpose can it possibly serve that’s beneficial to the human individual? And the poor have had no shortage of willing helpers to aid them…..regardless of the states welfare addiction.

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  39. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    ‘Selling the liabilities off for their best price into the private market so their best value can be extracted and reducing the taxation and the size of the state would be the greatest asset return to Mr and Mrs NZ possible.’
    But that’s not the argument being used for this sale, is it? And if these are ‘liabilities’ being sold, does that mean the government will be paying private owners to relieve them of this ownership burden?

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  40. OTGO (562 comments) says:

    Is there any truth to the rumour that Matt Groening modelled Mr Burns on Sir Bob Jones?

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  41. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..in your idealogical (or drug induced) stupor you missed the point that by releasing to the private market, will increase supply and decrease price, which will help save money on these supposed basics of life…”

    the same way those ‘reforms’ by max bradford did…?

    ..that worked out well for the/us mug-punters..eh..?

    more of the same..?..ya reckon..?

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  42. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i thought it was the other way around…that jones had/has monty burns for a role-model…

    ..but whatever way around it is…the resemblances are uncanny..

    ..phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  43. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and no thank you scorned..i don’t wish to argue yr rand-ite beliefs..eh..?

    ..i have toenails to cut/grouting to do….

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  44. Grendel (1,004 comments) says:

    Phil, answer the question. we have answered yours, you clearly have the time to answer them, and the library is open for hours.

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  45. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    who made you question-hall-monitor..?

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  46. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..we have answered yours, ..”

    no you haven’t..

    phillip ure whoar.nz

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  47. Grendel (1,004 comments) says:

    you did phil when you demanded answers of people, and even specified the perspective they had to come from.

    and yes we did answer your questions, you not liking/understanding the answer does not mean they were not answered thoroughly and repeatedly.

    smoke another bowl and then read it again, maybe you will get it this time.

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  48. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and an ad-hom in every question..eh..?

    is that how you talk to people face-to-face..?

    ..or do you save it for the anonymity you have here..?

    phillip ure whoar.co.nz

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  49. Steve (North Shore) (4,589 comments) says:

    The question Grendle asked of Phool was:

    “how about you explain phil how you cannot get a job when your oldest is a teenager and out of the house most of the day? i just hired someone whos daughter just started school. if she can manage 20 hrs a week with a 5 year old, surely you can manage at least that with a teenager?

    ~~~&8-please explain… “~~^^”

    You have not answered Mr Ure, so stop telling lies and answer the question

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