This entry was posted on Monday, October 14th, 2013 at 7:00 am and is filed under New Zealand.
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Oh, the horror. These evil corporations making excessive profits.
Labour and Greens must create a new Ministry to buy all food at a fair price, to pre-distribute to the people. That way we can also stop people consuming unapproved food which is bad. Think of the children.
The rise in food prices between 2005 and 2008 was a global phenomena attributed to a variety of factors – market speculation in staples, rocketing fuel prices, massive crop failure, export restrictions on rice and the growth of demand in China and India.
Inflation is the increase of money supply in an economy. Inflation first occurs in the capital sector then later in the consumer sector. At the moment in NZ there is massive inflation in the capital sector (eg housing) which will cross into conusmer (food etc) at some point unless the RBNZ turns the tap off.
Food prices rose 2005 to 2008 due to prior world wide money printing. So concerned about consumer inflation the Federal reserve turned the money print off which caused the GFC.
Next country to fall is going to be China. The massive money print there has fueled the economy since 2009 but if the masses cant afford to eat they will turn on the government. China will have to stop printing (to keep food reasonable) at some point hence a crash is likely.
Come now people – during the last few years of socialist Labour we had high power prices, high food prices, high interest rates and shy rocketing real estate prices. It was not Labour’s fault… The recession we were in while the world was still just starting to slow down… That wasn’t Labour’s fault.
bhudson (4,389) Says:
October 14th, 2013 at 8:20 am
Don’t forget all those farmers forgoing edible crops in favour of those to produce bio fuels.
The green movement have a great deal to answer for.
The Orwellian concept of the ‘memory hole’ completely escapes you doesn’t it hudson. Bio-fuels became economically viable as a direct consequence of the stratospheric rise of oil prices, it was more of a drive by the US government to tack toward a substitute for petroleum imports than any ‘green’ initiative.
And your hero, Noam Chomsky, was warning about the impact growing crops for fuel was having on the poorest people long before most:
The chaos that derives from the so-called international order can be painful if you are on the receiving end of the power that determines that order’s structure. Even tortillas come into play in the ungrand scheme of things.
Recently, in many regions of Mexico, tortilla prices jumped by more than 50 per cent. In January, in Mexico City, tens of thousands of workers and farmers rallied in the Zocalo, the city’s central square, to protest the skyrocketing cost of tortillas.
In response, the government of President Felipe Calderon cut a deal with Mexican producers and retailers to limit the price of tortillas and corn flour, very likely a temporary expedient.
In part the price-hike threat to the food staple for Mexican workers and the poor is what we might call the ethanol effect — a consequence of the US stampede to corn-based ethanol as an energy substitute for oil, …
Bio-fuels became economically viable as a direct consequence of the stratospheric rise of oil prices, it was more of a drive by the US government to tack toward a substitute for petroleum imports than any ‘green’ initiative.
Chomsky would admire your attempt to revise the narrative Yoza. (Actually, it is almost certainly just you parroting his brand of ‘wisdom’, but he’d be pleased with that nonetheless.)
Bio fuel push is the green agenda. It is their strident demands for move to alternative fuels that has driven the shift and ultimately led to an increase in food prices. It is true that govts and some businesses sought to curry favour with, or at least appease, the green movement, but that does not absolve the green movement of responsibility for driving the shift and the outcomes from it.
So like Chomsky to take a situation which his darling fellow leftists created and which turned to custard and then try to blame it on the US govt. Although that is hardly something new for him.
You haven’t read The Anti-Chomsky Reader yet, have you, hudson?
Oh I certainly have Yoza. It sits on my bookshelf as a nice balance to Chomsky’s tripe in “Profits over People.” Your idol really doesn’t come out of it at all well, and it certainly does give other examples where he has twisted the failures of the Left to be the fault of the US govt in particular. His trying to blame the US govt for the murder and oppression committed by the Khmer Rouge is a great example of Chomsky “double speak.”
The bio fuel and food crisis link in particular you will find in the second book linked above: The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley
According to Stuart Nash on Red Alert, research shows that people buy more healthy food if there is a price discount. So … salads are now cheaper. What do Labour’s evidence based policy developers think about that, I wonder. No holding my breath …
“The Labour policy of removing GST off fresh fruit and veges is a very good example of evidence-based policy development.
NZ is the third fattest country in the OECD (astounding). The productivity and health costs associated with this are huge – and growing. Auckland University and Otago University medical schools undertook a joint research project into ways to influence consumer behaviour around the purchase healthy foods. Three groups were set up; 1) control group, 2) a group given very targeted information and education about the outcomes of healthy purchases, and 3) a group that were given information and a 12.5% price discount. The result: no change from control group (expected), no change from the group given a high level of education and information only (surprising), however, a 11% increase in the purchase of healthy food by those who received a 12.5% discount.
After consultation with a lead member of this research team, we decided that one of the best ways to influence buyer behaviour and promote healthy choices was provide a price incentive. This works. Six months after the study had finished and prices returned to normal for the third group, the researchers found the majority in this group were still making healthy purchase decisions. So, education alone will not work in changing the eating habits / purchase decisions of the vast majority of NZers. A price incentive does. If anyone has a more effective way to directly target the obesity problem then I am very interested in hearing, because while it is a problem now, it is set to become an epidemic within a short space of time.
As an aside, we did briefly consider a ‘fat tax’ on unhealthy foods, however, ‘unhealthy’ is very difficult to define (under many definitions, milk and cheese are ‘unhealthy’) and so we decided that in this case, it is easier to remove a tax than add one.”
His trying to blame the US govt for the murder and oppression committed by the Khmer Rouge is a great example of Chomsky “double speak.”
In Manufacturing Consent, The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Chomsky and Herman compare the coverage of the Cambodian genocide with the Indonesian genocide happening at the same time in East Timor and the level of coverage each received in the mainstream media in the US. Just from memory – I do not have a copy of this book – Chomsky provided CIA reports from the Library of Congress where the CIA estimated 600,000 Cambodians had been killed as a direct result of US bombing with a further 600,000 expected to die as a consequence of their injuries, starvation and disease.
Chomsky claimed the amount of ordnance dropped on Cambodia was the equivalent of that dropped on mainland Japan, including both atomic bombs, during WWII. It turns out that this claim was a gross underestimate, the amount of explosives dropped on Cambodia, by the US, was greater than the amount of ordnance dropped on Japan and Europe by the allies during WWII. The preponderance of the bombing was focused on the densely populated areas on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
In the fall of 2000, twenty-five years after the end of the war in Indochina, Bill Clinton became the first US president since Richard Nixon to visit Vietnam. … As a humanitarian gesture, Clinton released extensive Air Force data on all American bombings of Indochina between 1964 and 1975. Recorded using a groundbreaking ibm-designed system, the database provided extensive information on sorties conducted over Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
…The still-incomplete database (it has several “dark” periods) reveals that from October 4, 1965, to August 15, 1973, the United States dropped far more ordnance on Cambodia than was previously believed: 2,756,941 tons’ worth, dropped in 230,516 sorties on 113,716 sites. Just over 10 percent of this bombing was indiscriminate, with 3,580 of the sites listed as
having “unknown” targets and another 8,238 sites having no target listed at all.
… Civilian casualties in Cambodia drove an enraged populace into the arms of an insurgency that had enjoyed relatively little support until the bombing began, setting in motion the expansion of the Vietnam War deeper into Cambodia, a coup d’état in 1970, the rapid rise of the Khmer Rouge, and ultimately the Cambodian genocide.
…Pol Pot himself described the Khmer Rouge during that period as “fewer than five thousand poorly armed guerrillas . . scattered across the Cambodian landscape, uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty, and leaders.” Years after the war ended, journalist Bruce Palling asked Chhit Do, a former Khmer Rouge officer, if his forces had used the bombing as anti-American propaganda. Chhit replied: Every time after there had been bombing, they would take the people to see the craters, to see how big and deep the craters were, to see how the earth had been gouged out and scorched . . . . The ordinary
people sometimes literally shit in their pants when the big bombs and shells came. Their minds just froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told. It was because of their dissatisfaction with the bombing that they kept on co-operating with the Khmer Rouge, joining up with the Khmer Rouge, sending their children off to go with them . . . . Sometimes the bombs fell and hit little children, and their fathers would be all for the Khmer Rouge.
The Nixon administration kept the air war secret for so long that debate over its impact came far too late. It wasn’t until 1973 that Congress, angered by the destruction the campaign had caused and the systematic deception that had masked it, legislated a halt to the bombing of Cambodia. By then, the damage was already done. Having grown to more than two hundred thousand troops and militia forces by 1973, the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh two years later. They went on to subject Cambodia to a Maoist agrarian revolution and a genocide in which 1.7 million people perished.
Can you actually provide any links to anything Chomsky has said anywhere that condones the slaughter carried out by the Khmer Rouge or is referring to some obscure slur in an even more obscure hatchet job the height of your ability?
In neighbouring Cambodia, Thatcher left a trail of blood, secretly. In 1980, she demanded that the defunct Pol Pot regime – the killers of 1.7 million people – retain its “right” to represent their victims at the UN. Her policy was vengeance on Cambodia’s liberator, Vietnam. The British representative was instructed to vote with Pol Pot at the World Health Organisation, thereby preventing it from providing help to where it was needed more than anywhere on earth.
To conceal this outrage, the US, Britain and China, Pol Pot’s main backer, invented a “resistance coalition” dominated by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge forces and supplied by the CIA at bases along the Thai border. There was a hitch. In the wake of the Irangate arms-for-hostages debacle, the US Congress had banned clandestine foreign adventures. “In one of those deals the two of them liked to make,” a senior Whitehall official told the Sunday Telegraph, “President Reagan put it to Thatcher that the SAS should take over the Cambodia show. She readily agreed.”
Chomsky refused, for years, to even acknowledge the oppression and murder of the Khmer Rouge regime. Upon having to accept reality, he first tried to deflect by marginalising the acts of that regime and instead trying to claim greater crimes elsewhere by the US govt. He then shifted to blaming the US govt for the murder and oppression that the Khmer Rouge undertook – the “they made me do it” defence.
You can find it in The Anti Chomsky Reader if you choose to face the inconvenient truths. You will find the references cited there and, as a Chomsky fan, you will appreciate the validation provided by citing references. (You’ll also find a piece there about the dubious citing practices of dear old Noam too. The irony of you referencing Manufacturing Consent is not lost on me.)
You keep talking about references, but you are incapable of providing a link to any of this damning proof, here is a transcript from 1977 where Chomsky and Herman reflect on the treatment the Khmer Rouge receive at the hands of the Western media and compares that to the treatment the likes of the Chilean military receives following the vicious coup that ripped that country apart.
I would be interested to see what you would define as apologies for Khmer Rouge atrocities and what is a justifiable cautious assessment of the Western propaganda model.
Do you accept that the US carpet bombing of Cambodia was directly responsible for the rise of the Khmer Rouge and the consequent mass killing?
To this end, the United Nations was abused by the powerful. Although the Khmer Rouge government (“Democratic Kampuchea”) had ceased to exist in January 1979, its representatives were allowed to continue occupying Cambodia’s seat at the UN; indeed, the US, China and Britain insisted on it. Meanwhile, a Security Council embargo on Cambodia compounded the suffering of a traumatised nation, while the Khmer Rouge in exile got almost everything it wanted. In 1981, President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said: “I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot.” The US, he added, “winked publicly” as China sent arms to the Khmer Rouge.
You keep talking about references, but you are incapable of providing a link to any of this damning proof
Yoza, I have linked to The Anti Chomsky Reader; to information about it and a link to buy the thing. Or, of course, you could go to a decent library and get a copy.
You can choose not to read it, but then you cannot refute the claims and references within it.
It is with great humour that I browse your link and realise you have linked to an article that demonstrates exactly what those authors in The Anti Chomsky Reader charge of Noam – denial, deflection and “you made me do it.” And all that within the first 2 pages it would seem.
As I noted above, the irony of you referencing Manufacturing Consent is not lost on me.
Of course you could force yourself to face the truth and read The Anti Chomsky Reader.
No copy in my public library, so we’ll see what Yoza comes back with.
I borrowed a copy from the library, just to balance it out I also grabbed Chomsky & Herman’s, Manufacturing Consent.
The Anti-Chomsky Reader starts off as bad as I expected it would. It reads like a hysterical denunciation.
Stephen J Morris, who kicks off the first chapter of The Anti Chomsky Reader, has a real hard on for violent US military imperialism. Here he is explaining how the Vietnamese happily supported the US invasion and ensuing slaughter of their compatriots.
The most popular explanation among historians and journalists is that the defeat was a result of American policy makers’ cold-war-driven misunderstanding of North Vietnam’s leaders as dangerous Communists. In truth, they argue, we were fighting a nationalist movement with great popular support. In this view, “our side,” South Vietnam, was a creation of foreigners and led by a corrupt urban elite with no popular roots. Hence it could never prevail, not even with a half-million American troops, making the war “unwinnable.”
This simple explanation is repudiated by powerful historical evidence, both old and new. Its proponents mistakenly base their conclusions on the situation in Vietnam during the 1950’s and early 1960’s and ignore the changing course of the war (notably, the increasing success of President Richard Nixon’s Vietnamization strategy) and the evolution of South Vietnamese society (in particular the introduction of agrarian reforms)
Apparently, if the US military had fed another couple of million Vietnamese into the slaughter house, the Vietnamese would have been showering them with flowers they would have been so popular. This is the level of weird to which Stephen J. Morris descends.
It is very easy for academics to produce propaganda which parrots the establishment narrative, the US state would fall over itself to provide funding and resources to the likes of Morris to ensure their crimes are air-brushed with caring sympathy. In his poorly footnoted character assassination of Chomsky he completely fails to account for the massive bombing campaign the US inflicted on Cambodia, his account has the Khmer Rouge popping out of a vacuum.
Next to Chomsky, Morris is a nonentity. I’m glad I borrowed a copy of The Anti Chomsky Reader from the library, it is an interesting study in the frailty of state propaganda when exposed to the historical record by a meticulous intellectual. I will definitely be buying a copy of this book along with those books it references to follow the depths to which Morris is prepared to sink to excuse US crimes against humanity.