Partridge on income inequality

June 9th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Chair Rooger Partridge writes:

Since the publication of The Spirit Level in 2009, and its ‘devastating critique’, The Spirit Level Delusion, in 2010, debates in the media and among politicians have been gripped by wealth inequality fever. The latest instalment is French economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century – a book which is at the centre of its own maelstrom over the accuracy of its analysis.

But is inequality a worthy cause célèbre? All other things being equal, few people on either the left or right would disagree that less inequality is better than more. And any parent will know that equality will lead to a more civil, stable, state of affairs within the family – and this is no doubt also true for society as a whole. But the factors that drive inequality in economic outcomes in a free market economy also produce great benefits. China may now have greater extremes of wealth than it did before Deng Xiaoping’s reforms, but the Chinese live 25 years longer and are 50 times richer than they were 25 years ago.

Yep China is now a far more unequal country. Far better when everyone was poor and starving!

Focussing on inequality – and looking to redistributive policies to solve it – risks throwing the baby out with the bath water. We would not restrain our more talented child just to make her less successful, younger brother feel better, so why should we levy our most talented, productive citizens?

Indeed.

What is needed is a focus on the real problem: that not everyone in our society has the skills needed to take advantage of the opportunities that should be available to all. Among them are the 20 per cent of New Zealand’s school-leavers who, year after year, do not achieve NCEA level 2. It requires a suspension of belief to conclude they are failing because the rich are getter richer. The problem is more complex, but we will not solve it if we look in the wrong place.

The focus should be about equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome – the official policy of the Labour Party.

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121 Responses to “Partridge on income inequality”

  1. questions (170 comments) says:

    Just a quick note, the various rebuttals of The Spirit Level didn’t hold up to scrutiny. I know it is important too you and those like you that you can refer to these quite frankly devastating critiques of your world view as “discredited” but neither this, nor the NBR opinion writer (who I not never read the book), or the Financial Times rebuttal hold up to any scrutiny.

    You are spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt in order to muddy the waters and claim that this book has been discredited when it has not.

    [DPF: Peter Saunders did a detailed slaughtering of The Spirit Level. He showed how the cherry picked data was integral to the results.

    On the other hand you just make an assertion with no evidence. Not very credible]

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  2. JeffW (320 comments) says:

    Government can’t make people equally rich, it can only make people equally poor.

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  3. andretti (127 comments) says:

    The nonsense of this argument is apparent when one asks a believer what he considers inequality.To them its a trickle down of those who have more than them ie steal it off them by force.But these same people only see the trickle down to their status not to the very poor through out the world.If this was done the average wage would be something like $18.000 pa.Even this would only be for the first year as after this why would the well off bother to earn any more than the $18.000 when it would all be stolen from them.

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  4. Viking2 (11,146 comments) says:

    JeffW (314 comments) says:
    June 9th, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Government can’t make people equally rich, it can only make people equally poor.

    =============================
    Not quite right so I fixed for you.

    Government can’t make people equally rich, it can only try make people equally poor.

    Some of us just won’t let them win that battle.

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  5. Harriet (4,528 comments) says:

    “……The focus should be about equality of opportunity…..”

    That’s still the same problem DPF as ‘the children’ don’t have ‘equality of opportunity’ in poor households, as kids in wealthier house holds have a vocabulary 2-4 times bigger than a child from a poor home.[That's been proven.]

    The children from the Kearny and Garrett households for example would have better vocabularies than those from poorer homes.

    However I’m not disagreeing with what you are suggesting

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  6. dime (9,470 comments) says:

    “We would not restrain our more talented child just to make her less successful, younger brother feel better,”

    schools love that theory – god forbid all the good, talented kids go to a private school. they would much rather have the gifted elevate the shit…

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  7. thePeoplesFlag (181 comments) says:

    I hope DPF is charging a fee to act as the official shill of the ex-Business Round Table.

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  8. Ed Snack (1,739 comments) says:

    Questions, sorry but that is simple propaganda. The “Spirit Level” is utterly flawed, it’s arguments are not well supported by the data and the conclusions simply are not credible. It is like Picketty’s book, a political and not a scientific statement.

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  9. dime (9,470 comments) says:

    “I hope DPF is charging a fee to act as the official shill of the ex-Business Round Table.”

    I guess your fee is included in your fortnightly charity payment from the tax payer?

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  10. Colville (2,085 comments) says:

    Back when I had an honest job (as an engineer/company owner) we would hire some utter knuckel draggers as labourers.
    All they had to do was want to work and turn up on time.
    Wanting to work would get them well paid and secure.
    Wanting to learn would get them power over other, some liked that some didnt.

    I soon learnt that a lot of the guys I hired had ZERO idea about money and generally it was because Mum and Dad were dropkicks who had no idea. So we (Foremen and I) spent a lot of time on education just so when Monday came the guys would not be broke and hungry having stayed in the pub till the eftpos would not give them any more booze vouchers or walked thru Harvey Norman and dropped $4K on a TV when they already had one.

    Suppose my point is (if there is one) opportunity will only get you so far. If you come from a shit home you are up against it as your education about life choices isnt great and its really not your fault.

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  11. lprent (102 comments) says:

    Ummm I think David Farrar is (how can we put this delicately – a title of a post!)… Farrar lies again

    The focus should be about equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome – the official policy of the Labour Party.

    Umm I can’t seem to find a link to that anywhere in the “official policy of the Labour party”.

    I’m sure you will have some convoluted logic that you need untangling? Do you need some help?

    BTW: I’m trying to test the down checker, please feel free to test it. I will be back in a couple of hours after I get some code fixed.

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  12. Kimbo (671 comments) says:

    I’ll fly a kite…

    I’d suggest a false dichotomy is being presented.

    We should be striving for BOTH a wealthy society AND an equitable distribution of income. Too much money in the hands of too few is evil because it entrenches economic servitude on too great a scale and across generations (I mean in statistical, rather than individual terms. A particular individual may be able to haul themselves out of the crowd, but not necessarily large numbers at one time).

    I’m not talking about excessive progressive taxation to achieve redistribution. In fact, I would suggest the encouraging of GENUINE competition that allows small business people to thrive is where the real work is done.

    Also, hand in hand with that is a community ethic. Again, I’m not talking leaden socialist class-warfare and the politics of envy. I agree we hitch our wagon to the market, but there has to be more than the market to build a good community.

    And much of that begins back at schools, and the teaching of appropriate skills and attitudes…

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  13. Manolo (13,394 comments) says:

    I feel honoured after reading the above lines written by the effeminate Lynn Prentice, chief censor at The sub Standard.

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  14. Crusader (279 comments) says:

    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
    Winston Churchill

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  15. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    lprent: Serious questions…why do you lefties like to lace your posts with “Ummmm”?? To a curmudgeon like me its sounds utterly juvenile…

    And why do you ban people from your…site … at the drop of a hat? Ever wondered Why DPF doesn’t feel the need to do that here? (Oh we have our quota of dickheads…one “Yoza” springs to mind…he would be thoroughly at home with you…and of course career beneficiary Phil U who IS now with you – and not here…thank God)

    Crusader: Much as I admire the greatest statesmen of the 20th Century, I think Margaret Thatcher on Socialism was better:

    “The problem with the Socialists is they eventually run out of other peoples money” (Has to be done in Maggie’s upper class drawl to sound best)

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  16. Grant (426 comments) says:

    Well Lynley, I can recall some Labour honcho declaring that “equality of outcome” being the party’s goal. There was a post about it on here I think.
    Or was he just making stuff up on the hoof, sort of like they always do

    G
    Edited for clarity

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  17. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    Jesus … first world problems.

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  18. Colville (2,085 comments) says:

    lprent being here and speaking shyte is a wonderful example of why this blog is just so my better than his own hate speech site.
    lprent would happily ban you from his site after a lecture on why the Stranded isn’t a Labour Party site and how the Stranded isn’t a hive mind/bunch of tossers giving each other reach arounds.
    oh and then he would slip it into the lecture that he is the Worlds Greatest SysOp.

    I will be back in a couple of hours after I get some code fixed.

    message to the boywithagirlsname. No one gives a flying fuck that you can code. My 12 old niece can code.

    ahhhhh… I feel so much better :-)

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  19. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    “I will be back in a couple of hours after I get some code fixed.”

    Translation: “I’m going to get some 12 year old girl to fix the code I can’t figure out”

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  20. Ryan Sproull (7,033 comments) says:

    The focus should be about equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome – the official policy of the Labour Party.

    The problem with inequality in our society is not the inequality of outcome – it’s the predictability of the inequality of outcome.

    If there was true equality of opportunity, there would be no predictability of outcome.

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  21. dime (9,470 comments) says:

    “I will be back in a couple of hours after I get some code fixed.”

    lol what a wanker.

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  22. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    @lprent – it’s here, page 5, section 1.11 ‘we believe in equality of outcomes’, November 2013, policy document.

    https://www.labourparty.org.nz/sites/default/files/New%20Zealand%20%20Labour%20Party%20Policy%20Platform.pdf

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  23. Nostradamus (2,948 comments) says:

    Thank you YesWeDid.

    I note the document is described as “New Zealand Labour Party – Policy Platform – November 2013 – Final Version”. The introduction says:

    This is the Labour Party Policy Platform, as amended and accepted at the 2013 Labour Party Annual Conference in Christchurch

    I could be wrong, but I seem to recall that Lynn Prentice attended that annual conference.

    It’s worth quoting the statement in its proper context:

    Equality/ Oritetanga: Our vision of a just society is founded on equality and fairness. Labour believes that social justice means that all people should have equal access to social, economic, cultural, political, and legal spheres regardless of wealth, gender, ethnicity, or social position. Labour says that no matter the circumstances of our birth, we are each accorded equal opportunity to achieve our full potential in life. We believe in more than just equal opportunities—we believe in equality of outcomes.

    I’m sure Lynn Prentice will have something to say when he gets back in a couple of hours…

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  24. Ryan Sproull (7,033 comments) says:

    Equality/ Oritetanga: Our vision of a just society is founded on equality and fairness. Labour believes that social justice means that all people should have equal access to social, economic, cultural, political, and legal spheres regardless of wealth, gender, ethnicity, or social position. Labour says that no matter the circumstances of our birth, we are each accorded equal opportunity to achieve our full potential in life. We believe in more than just equal opportunities—we believe in equality of outcomes.

    I actually really like this statement, up until that last sentence. They describe the kind of equality of opportunity that matters, and then go on to say that “equality of outcomes” is something “more” than that.

    It feels like a Labour copywriter got to the end of writing the substantial stuff and thought, “Oh, we need a punchy quotable ending to this paragraph!”

    “Equal opportunity to achieve our full potential in life” may well not mean equality of outcome.

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  25. David Farrar (1,856 comments) says:

    Lynn – you’re a member and you don’t even know your own party’s policy!!!

    https://www.labourparty.org.nz/sites/default/files/New%20Zealand%20%20Labour%20Party%20Policy%20Platform.pdf

    Clause 1.11 – We believe in more than just equal opportunities—we believe in equality of outcomes.

    Well that’s an own goal if I’ve ever seen one.

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  26. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    Equality of outcomes…excellent…did anyone here visit East Germany when the Wall was still up? Equality of opportunity on one side, equality of outcomes on the other…

    On the “equality of outcomes” side the streets were filthy, many of the buildings were still boarded up 30 years after the end of the war (Well, I assumed there were so many of them because they hadn’t been fixed since the war…) the people were poorly clothed and miserable looking…the shops were largely bare of merchandise. In a restaurant a middle aged waitress with more stubble than I could then grow and a cigarette hanging out of her mouth threw a menu at us..the food was bloody near inedible…and would have been if we hadn’t been doing so much walking…we had to walk, there were almost no buses and the few taxis were exhorbitantly priced…

    To top it all off I managed to get IN to East Berlin by accident…there was no bloody way you got OUT again by accident!!

    Don’t down tick him guys…it will only give him the justification to shriek shrilly ” See! SEEE!!”

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  27. Nostradamus (2,948 comments) says:

    Ah – here we go.

    Labour conference 2013 – day one

    Written
    By: lprent
    Date published:
    9:24 am, November 1st, 2013

    Well I made it down to Christchurch to cover the Labour party conference for The Standard.

    1830: Been at the media briefing. What was interesting was how far the policy platform has proceeded after the review(s) of 2012. It is now an actual document of 61 pages (that I will find the electronic copy of) rather than being a frigging morass of barely coherent and largely self-contradictory remits. It is still too big. However my brief look through the hard copy shows it to be a hell of a lot more readable than anything I have read from Labour since they stopped producing big manifestos. I may have to start serializing bits of it for people to disagree with.

    Oh dear – maybe Lynn Prentice won’t have much to say after all – he said everything he needed to say about the Labour Party’s policy platform last year :)

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  28. Albert_Ross (251 comments) says:

    Kimbo:

    I would suggest the encouraging of GENUINE competition that allows small business people to thrive

    How can it be “GENUINE competition” if you’ve already decided what the outcome is going to be?

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  29. Odakyu-sen (442 comments) says:

    “Equality of outcome”

    What a scary notion. It implies that somehow we all have to come out the same. It implies that the high fliers and the “different” will be eliminated. (Well, there goes both talent and diversity in one hit…)

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  30. Ryan Sproull (7,033 comments) says:

    I doubt that many self-professed proponents of “equality of outcome” actually mean “identicalness of outcome”.

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  31. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    I wonder if DPF link whores at the Standuhd too, or is it a one way thing? Since KB has over twice the visits and page views I’m picking only one way.

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  32. Kimbo (671 comments) says:

    @Albert_Ross

    How can it be “GENUINE competition” if you’ve already decided what the outcome is going to be?

    Because genuine competition leaves open the opportunity for the little guy to find a niche as the bigger guys lose the agility and flexibility required to retain their primacy.

    Competition continually redistributes income because things are never static. Therefore wealth does not remain and accumulate permanently with just one group. It is an ideal, which, like everything to do with human endeavour will never be perfectly realised. However, it is the on-going goal, in need of continual reform.

    BUT those who are truly disadvantaged who would ordinarily struggle to compete (e.g., the physically and mentally disabled) are given whatever it takes to give them a genuine opportunity.

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  33. Fentex (867 comments) says:

    Yep China is now a far more unequal country. Far better when everyone was poor and starving!

    I think inequality is a problem, but when considered in context.

    China, a nation of burgeoning wealth becomes more unequal as the benefits of it’s industry begin in cities and factories and hopefully spread outwards. Those nearest the new wealth grow richer first, hopefully it will spread.

    That is not the same problem as people fear when they worry wealth is sucked inwards.

    Inequality created by the slow distribution of new wealth is a different concern from inequality created, let’s say by a despotic tyranny, that sucks wealth and opportunity away from people.

    In the U.S the occupy movement was partially motivated I believe by worry that peoples taxes were being used to prop up the wealthy and thereby sucking wealth from citizens by feeding a political machine creating inequality that spends to defend its beneficiaries.

    That is the threat of inequality created by the concentration rather than creation of wealth – that it is an incentive to corrupt political process.

    People who support free enterprise and individual liberty should be concerned about such a threat as it is one to their hopes and ambitions at creating independent wealth.

    In such thinking inequality is not bad in and of itself but as a likely indicator of corruption and oppression, and if one believes in the free market and the efficacy of capitalism and ability for hard work to exploit opportunity then concentrations of wealth should be a concern as the presumed rough and tumble of open competition should not lead to complacent accumulation of wealth.

    If it does because investing wealth out performs creative labour (which I think is Pikkety’s hypothesis) then it would seem a reason for questioning the benefits of the system.

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  34. hmmokrightitis (1,514 comments) says:

    Oh god Lynnette, the horror…

    Outed for being a ‘oh look at me, I can code’ tosser (My 13 year old builds websites, and provides home IT services to the neighbourhood and has, with a little guidance from me, been turning a profit on that business for a year)…

    You call DPF a liar, and yet if ANYONE had the temerity to do the same at your poison pit, you would flounce about with your red handbag and ban them in a heart beat…

    So much for reasoned and reasonable discourse…

    And you dont even know the policy released by the party you supposedly support…

    No wonder you still code. Youre a monkey…

    (Delivered in a mocking Phil Ure style just for youre benefit Lynnette :)

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  35. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    lprent – owned !

    I’m sure you will have some convoluted logic that you need untangling? Do you need some help?

    BTW: I’m trying to test the down checker, please feel free to test it. I will be back in a couple of hours after I get some code fixed.

    I’m only saying it here because I would be banned for life saying it on the standard. (The standard being a piece of software not a person)

    lprent – why do you seem to think you are the only person on the planet that can code – thousands of people do it every day and the way you crow about it has always made me think you are full of shit.

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  36. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    My bet is the man – it is a man isn’t it? wont be back…

    How can the fool explain that not only is DPF not lying, but that he – Prentice – doesn’t even know his own party’s policy? And it’s not as if it’s an insignificant policy…there is a massive difference between favouring equality of outcomes vs. equality of opportunity…

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  37. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    lprent must be pulling his grey hair out by now, all these dissenting comments and he can’t delete them all and pretend his world view is supported because a couple of usual suspect are saying “here here”, ”well said – fight the man”

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  38. Nostradamus (2,948 comments) says:

    David Garrett:

    It’s actually worse than that.

    Let’s take stock:

    1 The Labour Party Policy Platform was amended and accepted at the 2013 Labour Party Annual Conference.
    2. Lynn Prentice attended that conference.
    3. Lynn specifically blogged about the policy platform (see my comment above). He described it as “a hell of a lot more readable than anything I have read from Labour since they stopped producing big manifestos”.

    I’m expecting Lynn to come back and focus on the words “my brief look through the hard copy” in his blog post.

    The problem with that, of course, is that Lynn’s exact words above were “Umm I can’t seem to find a link to that anywhere in the “official policy of the Labour party”.

    Now if we take Lynn at his word (I know) then he would have done a keyword search for “equality of outcome” in the policy platform. After all, the policy platform is described as “an enduring document” that is binding on the Labour Party – see the introductory section.

    I wonder how Lynn would respond if DPF – or anyone else for that matter – were to pop over to The Standard and say “Ummm I think Lynn Prentice is (how can we put this delicately – a title of a post!)… Prentice lies again!“. I suggest that a permanent ban would be dished out in short order…

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  39. Brian Dingwall (1 comment) says:

    Interesting that China is the key example cited.

    In this video link from Nov last year http://english.cntv.cn/program/china24/20131111/105006.shtml Professor Fu Jun Dean of the School of Government at Peking University explains that taxing the rich and redistributing is “probably not the answer”. It’s worth a look.

    Now that China has opened up markets for products and services, the answer to inequality, he suggests, is not taxation and redistribution but is the opening of transparent and fair markets for land, labour, and capital.

    In my mind it is ironic that our leaders are progressively taking us where China has been, while so called Liqe-nomics (more market, more opening up, no stimulus, deleveraging, structural reform and trying things, economic experiments to see what works) continues the programme started by Deng and which is creating huge value for China….

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  40. adze (1,870 comments) says:

    @lprent
    “Ummm I think David Farrar is (how can we put this delicately – a title of a post!)…”

    Not only were you proved wrong you dummy, but your comment above would no doubt earn someone a banning on your own cowardly little blog, wouldn’t it? :)

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  41. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    lprent not having any idea what Labour actually stands for makes me think he’s in line to be the next leader !

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  42. OneTrack (2,619 comments) says:

    Isn’t “Equality of Outcome” one of the definitions of Communism?

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  43. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    OneTrack

    Shhhh, the lovers of socialism haven’t even noticed it never works ever – don’t tell them Labour have worse plans than the ones that sound good but never work – they have plans that sound horrible and absolutely cannot work.

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  44. OneTrack (2,619 comments) says:

    “lprent not having any idea what Labour actually stands for makes me think he’s in line to be the next leader !”

    It worked for Cunliffe. But does anyone know what Labour 2014 stands for? Because it sure as hell isn’t the “worker”.

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  45. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    Nostradamus and Adze: Quite so..

    Mr Prentice…I know you are lurking about (or one of your acolytes will be) Do you ever – even for a moment – find yourself wondering why you feel the need to ban ANY remotely dissenting voice – Pete George FFS…an anodyne middle aged acolyte of Peter Dunne – whereas David allows just about anything here?

    Or perhaps you see that very laissez faire attitude as somehow evidence of….I dunno, Do tell us …

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  46. 103PapPap (129 comments) says:

    “I will be back in a couple of hours after I get some code fixed.”

    So this man with a girls name writes code so poorly he has to go back later and fix it?

    Wouldn’t get a job working for any of the software companies I know.

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  47. Simon (686 comments) says:

    The State needs to fire all existing staff or enough to hire all the unemployed. This should be a Labour policy. The 100K unemployed will be made public servants. Automatically.

    The fired public servants will be hired at some stage in the private sector…..

    Think of the equality this would achieve.

    In the interests of equality and a fairer NZ this brings tears of joy.

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  48. Colville (2,085 comments) says:

    Wat a hoot…this is now a ” lets laugh at lynnette thread “! Ha :-)

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  49. Colville (2,085 comments) says:

    Ohh…randon thought…

    Throwing that fat RICH Kraut out of the country would make NZ ‘more equal”

    So it should be Labour Party (and the GIMPs) policy. :-)

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  50. lprent (102 comments) says:

    Fascinating. Apart from the usual dickheads. There were some actual replies. I guess pigs can fly.

    Ah of course because this is a site full of stupid munters skilled at crony capitalism and arse licking, we do have some extremely selective quoting. I guess that is to keep the actual information content down to something they can understand. Quite obvious looking at many of the comments above. Looks like only one of you dug into the document, and none of you looked at the intent of the document.

    This isn’t the “official policy” of the Labour Party, it is a policy platform. That means it has a mixture of statements and rules used to create and limit the production of policy. The relevant bits of the introduction say

    The Platform is an enduring document, which lays out the Party’s values, vision and priorities for
    policy. It answers clearly the perennial question, “what does Labour think about…..” in important
    policy areas.

    The Platform is binding on the Party, including the Caucus. It will guide the creation of the manifesto
    for each election, and the manifesto must be consistent with its provisions.

    That makes it pretty clear to anyone whose jawbone hasn’t occluded their brain development that it doesn’t define “policy” because that is done in the manifesto. It defines what the policy must be limited by and what it is designed to foster.

    As Nostradamus above says; 1.11 actually says

    Equality/ Oritetanga: Our vision of a just society is founded on equality and fairness. Labour
    believes that social justice means that all people should have equal access to social,
    economic, cultural, political, and legal spheres regardless of wealth, gender, ethnicity, or
    social position. Labour says that no matter the circumstances of our birth, we are each
    accorded equal opportunity to achieve our full potential in life.
    We believe in more than just
    equal opportunities—we believe in equality of outcomes.

    I highlighted the actual policy making part in bold because the language of the sentence makes that a definite statement of intent.

    The remaining parts of the section describe a vision and a set of beliefs. They are a statement of moral position and aspiration rather than actual intent. To state that is a policy is quite simply a David Farrar egging a silly slogan for the benefit of some of the pinheaded sloganeers here who are too simple to read and understand it themselves.

    But I guess that if you are into the parties without an ability to state their moral compass you’d get confused with these ‘subtle’ distinctions. After all you have a National leader and Minister of Social Welfare most notable for their satisfaction of withdrawing the ladders of opportunity up after they use them.

    For instance when you look at simple biology, the effective killing of the ACE programs and the retraining of solo parents after years out of the workforce were particularly effective removals of avenues to new opportunities for parents who are years out of the workforce to care for small children in their first years. Forcing those parents into the workforce far too early has demonstrable impacts on the equality of opportunity of those children as they grow up.

    David Garrett: “Ummm” – I usually find myself incredulous at the level of self-satisfied hypocrisy I usually find when dealing with some of the morons in the sewer. I could preface it with “WTF! you dribbling idiot”, but “Ummm” is somewhat politer. I can’t answer for other “lefties” but I’d presume they have the same reaction.

    And why do you ban people from your…site … at the drop of a hat?

    We run different types of sites for different purposes. TS is designed to be a place for activist people of the left to talk to each other for the overall benefit of the left. It allows ideas and differences to be discussed and flared off. That is why it fosters robust debate. However it isn’t there for stupid debate, which we try to leave for this place. Apart from anything else it is pretty boring the moderators like me to read.

    We rather like having people from the other side to argue with as well. But having the behaviour of the kind of stupid munters around that you can see further up this posts comments reacting to my name and some minor stirring isn’t useful for that.

    When we started the site, the idealists amongst us wanted to run it without moderation. But what that resulted in as a site became more popular was the munters above and the teams of fools from Whaleoil coming and astroturfing the site with moronic slogans. So we started to moderate it. Because it’d been left untended, we had to moderate very hard to get the point across.

    I could have instituted something that involved a lot of work, like the speaker, or I could have instituted a lazy tech policy like the tickup/tickdown/hide , or a bullying policy as usually happens here where merely appearing promotes bad behaviours. They all have flaws and especially flaws within the intent of the purpose of the site. The biggest flaw was that it would get in the way of moderators real work.

    What I did instead was to institute a classic bastard sysop natural selection policy. There are rules, you are expected to follow them yourself, the detection is somewhat irregular except when the sysop is irritated, and the sentencing is part sarcastic abuse, random and often completely over the top. People trying to “play” the system got dealt to with some extremely malicious play from the sysop. It is a system that works pretty well on the net and you will find it all around the systems from the 1970s onwards as the multi-user terminals became common.

    Anyone with intelligence will figure out the rules pretty fast and will work well within them without trying to find the wide boundaries. Anyone who isn’t adaptable has real problems because they keep falling into the same foolish errors. People deliberately trying to cause irritations in the sysops life will find him seeking infractions.

    It works pretty well for me as most of my work was done upfront while the site was small in building the culture. This place fills up with the people who are too stupid or too unadaptable and I don’t have to do too much work as it scales up. The people on the left have a place to argue in and there are enough smart adaptable people from the right have a place that they can argue with the “lefties” without the sloganistic munters as well.

    Ever wondered Why DPF doesn’t feel the need to do that here?

    I know exactly why – do you? Have you ever thought about the purpose of this site? The one that his policies are designed to foster. Shouldn’t take you too long to figure it out if you are personally honest with yourself (of course that may be a bit of a hard ask). But there is a reason why “lefties” seldom comment here.

    Now about this point I usually have people start whining about the unfairness of that nasty Labour person. But I’m not any such beast. I happen to be a member of the Labour party in that I give them a donation and I have given them some of my time. I have never received any money or services from them. The most I ever got was a badge. I support them because I think that they or the Greens are the closest for delivering the type of society that I think that my families future generations need.

    National and ACT can’t think that far ahead because they are where the stupid reactive bigoted and unthinking munters like to be.

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  51. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    Simon: Nice try old boy… but no cigar…Been done that already old chap…Roger Douglas tells stories about cabinet meetings where Norm Kirk would study the unemployment figures…then order the Ministers of Railways and Works to hire X and Y number of workers…That’s how the railways ended up with 60,000 employees when it needed 10% of that number after being sold…so far so good; a job is better than being on the dole…the only trouble was it took a top tax rate of 66% and a whole raft of tariffs and subsidies to keep the whole shakey edifice going…

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  52. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    Mr Prentice: I didn’t notice your lengthy post…Well done for having the courage to actually come back…even if you did pretty much ignore everyone else and engage only with me…

    Well, call me stupid (the train driver did, publicly but I’ll line my academic record against his anytime) but you don’t actually answer your own question: “What is this site (KB) for?” I would have said it’s a forum for people with an interest in politics – and the wonder of life in general – to debate with each other, argue, and learn things. ( I learn something every day when I am here, but then I might just be stupid, as you imply)

    While it would be fair to say the commenters here are largely from the right, they cover the whole spectrum: poor sad 60+ year old “Yoza”, a self proclaimed anarchist, living in what was once a working class suburb in Wellington, right across to …well, poor sad 60+ Redbaiter, believed to be a former oil well driller from PNG, now resident – so it is said – in a Rest Home in Tauranga…and all points in between.

    The distinguishing thing you see is DPF almost never feels it necessary to BAN people…although he sometimes smacks us on the hand, and if bad behaviour persists, sentences us to a short period of solo reflection…I myself have been disciplined thus now and then. But then you have told us that “TS” is largely an echo chamber for Labour activists to talk across each other, so I guess the purpose of the two sites varies considerably.

    Anyway ummm… the bottom line of your post seems to be that “equality of outcomes” ISNT in fact Labour policy per se…it’s just some aspiration, or template against which policy is to be measured. Glad you cleared that up!

    Oh one other thing…glad I caught you…while I am certainly in the minority here in that I use my own name, (DPF believes in choice in that as in most other things) I understand that even to speculate about the identity of posters on TS is to invite an instant ban…why is that?

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  53. hmmokrightitis (1,514 comments) says:

    “But I guess that if you are into the parties without an ability to state their moral compass”

    As evidenced by Silent T and his hidden trust for fundraising no doubt. Or seeing its done by the left, its OK? Or the fact that its driven by a lawyer from the left, that’s a double OK?

    Hypocrisy disguised as intellectual rigour. Might fool the masses Lynette, but despite your trolling, the majority here don’t buy the sugar that cheap. We tend to risk our capital and work hard for a living. You stick to code monkey.

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  54. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    hmmo: Now now! Play nicely…the man did have the guts to return and (sort of) explain the glaring discrepancy between what he had claimed DPF “lied” about and actual Labour policy…

    As for his unfortunate Christian name, well, he can’t help that…I also have a third Christian name which is so awful it is known to very few…

    And he could have slunk to “dead baby” barbs…but then he probably knows that I know two of his “activists” who have convictions for exactly the same offence…only difference was they used their passports…

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  55. Simon Arnold (98 comments) says:

    At the risk of bringing this back to the matter in hand, one of the big problems with much of the analysis of our social ills is that they aren’t static. They change over time.

    Thus the differences in relative economic well-being within an individual’s lifetime are likely as important as between individuals in society, and from a social policy perspective persistent inter-generational poor economic outcomes over life-times is of much more concern than the relative performance of returns on particular life choices etc. In the end if the returns to capital are better than the returns to being creative more people will see the light and at the margin, invest and push the returns to capital down :)

    From what we know about the causes of the persistent inter-generational poor economic outcomes they aren’t simple, but the question to be asked is what to do to make this generation as they grow up and their offspring able to move out of the cycle. This is why education and encouraging social attachment that helps take people out of their exiting circumstances is needed.

    Socialism purports to solve this problem by insisting on greater collective control over all of our lives to reach this group. Capitalism in its early stages just noted that the poor will always be with us, move on.

    A mixed economy acknowledges the strengths of capitalism to both allow individual freedom and the benefits in improving general and individual well-being, while focusing some of its greater earning power on those in persistent need.

    The question is how to do that better.

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  56. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    Simon

    One way to make sure we do better is to not repeat the failed prescriptions of the past. Shit didn’t work out very well when we nationalised everything, employed people in the public service on mass to hide unemployment, regulated and controlled wages and prices. But Labour have a bunch of supporters who can’t seem to remember that these policies failed over and over again in the past and everybody is easily persuaded to accept other peoples money – so Labour persist with easy to sell but fatally flawed policies.

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  57. Simon Arnold (98 comments) says:

    Incidentally I note the irony of the Standard using market mechanisms to control their commentators.

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  58. Harriet (4,528 comments) says:

    Iprent#

    “…….Labour says that no matter the circumstances of our birth, we are each accorded equal opportunity to achieve our full potential in life. We believe in more than just equal opportunities—we believe in equality of outcomes….”

    That’s stupid.

    People are born into families where sport is ‘the thing’ – The Mene Mene family for example. How then are you going to deliver for young aspiring netball captains- who play sport to the detriment of their education – but then later fail at sport also?

    It’s called choice.

    Others are born into families where both parents are academics. And others where only one is an academic.

    Garrett’s kids would have a bigger vocabulary than mine – which is another matter.

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  59. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    Harriet: You are too kind…my children not only have rich vocabs but they know the meaning of all the words too! Can be very disconcerting when trying to argue with them…

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  60. hmmokrightitis (1,514 comments) says:

    He could indeed DG. But then I prefer, like many I suppose, to recognise that when I was younger I screwed up as well, and there but for the grace of etc etc. You screwed up, you’ve paid the price. Hell, I did too, just not the same way.

    Lynette to me defines hypocrisy. The left ‘cares for people’. No, they really don’t. They care if you blindly agree. I tend not to. Which is why I run my own business after getting tired of dealing with idiots that were my leaders.

    Lynette banned me for 6 weeks from the sewer. For arguing the point with regulars. I lol’d at the time and went on to realise what a friggen swamp that place is.

    The left know best. If they do, how is it that socialism fails, all the time, every time?

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  61. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    People,

    Why are we bothering to debate this with self absorbed grumpy sys-op, earth scientist, Lawyer done a few law papers, coding guru.

    Take it up with Cunliffe publicly. Lets see how long he stands by that. All we’re doing here is helping lprent collect sample attacks and counter attacks, defences etc to feed back to Clint who scribbles a few lines for lprent to review. He has final say and anyone disagreeing with that is banned. Once lprent reviews it, Cunliffe muddles and mangles it, forgets it, makes shit up and delivers it in the accent appropriate.

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  62. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    BTW Chaps…Mr Prentice seems inordinately proud of being a “sysop”….sounds like something out of Star Trek, but I’m sure it’s not…can someone enlighten me?

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  63. Harriet (4,528 comments) says:

    DG#

    Thomas Sowell wrote up on the matter and said the above that I mentioned, along with ‘some kids are less healthy and so have more time away from education’ & ‘some kids are better at one subject while others are better at another, and both subjects pay differently in the workplace, sometimes in history one will pay less than the other, and at other times the reverse happens’.

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  64. chris (567 comments) says:

    @David Garrett, it’s a fancy sounding name for administrator. I didn’t realise people actually referred to themselves as that anymore; in the “olden days” of computing it was more just operators of computer systems.

    sysop = SYStems OPerator

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  65. Harriet (4,528 comments) says:

    If ‘equality of outcomes’ is that meaningful to the left, then they would only allow people with the same ability into the country – so as not to contribute to the problem further.

    Maybe Labour want an immigration test – for all!!!

    They’re full ‘o shit as usual.

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  66. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    David Garrett

    wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sysop

    A sysop (/ˈsɪsɒp/; an abbreviation of system operator) is an administrator of a multi-user computer system, such as a bulletin board system (BBS) or an online service virtual community.[1] It may also be used to refer to administrators of other Internet-based network services.

    Sysops sometimes seem to define themselves by how they chastise and ban, sometimes they don’t.

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  67. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    Harriet

    Equality of outcome is a socialist la la land thing. It’s not ever going to be achieved unless it’s achieved as communism achieved it. Everybody tragically poor together while the elite built statues of themselves.

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  68. adze (1,870 comments) says:

    @lprent

    [Butthurt seething deleted]

    Your site is at least the “sewer” this blog is on its worst days. Don’t ever pretend otherwise. Only more self-important, intellectually dishonest, and gutless.

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  69. lprent (102 comments) says:

    David Garret: Your questions and screwups.

    1. No-one else actually said anything that had an argument in it. Just couple of links

    2. The purpose of KB was left for you to answer and I think you rather muffed it. In fact all I saw was some fatuous bullshit by someone trying to think up a purpose.

    3. I said the activists of the “left” not Labour. To be precise it is the “labour movement” – see the about which was always a hell of lot larger than Labour the party. But that appears to be too subtle for your current state of mind.

    4. So for that matter is your understanding of a policy platform. I believe you were once a layer? The policy platform is like the legislation governing what must be in and not in a contract. It doesn’t tell you what the contract should actually be. It merely limits you. Or in programming, the choice of a programming language doesn’t say why you will write, it merely says what is damn hard to write in a particular language.

    5. Names? Read the about, it was built in from the start. I won’t tolerate people claiming to be people they are not, and I’m pretty harsh on political pros like MPs because they should blog transparently. However to answer your implied question because it goes back to the topic of this post….

    There is a tradition on the net about pseudonyms reaching back at least to the minicomputer discussion boards I was using in 1980. Developing a system is a lot faster when you can argue equally and without the inequalities of position and hierarchy with other knowledgeable people and transfer knowledge fast. Why do you think computer systems, the software to run them, and the networks arose and keep arising so damn quickly?

    The inequalities of position were untangled from debate and what was left was the ability of people to be able to understand and argue. No-one who was confident in themselves was ever particularly worried by that, so you had compsci profs arguing both teaching and learning from students, heads of R&D at computer software companies finding the security holes in their code form kids on the other side of the world, and the entire protocol stack of opensource protocols and software appearing out of a pseudonymous morass.

    It was a way of intersecting with the world without much inequality apart from the hassle of getting the computer and the network links to find stuff out and to talk about how to make it better. If you look at places like StackOverflow and thousands of others you’ll find the same thing happening now.

    The only people challenged by this are the pompous arses who solely defined themslves by their position in a hierarchy not by their actual abilities. So really the question is what you prefer? Well I’d probably have to observe your behaviour for a while to tell you that.

    So yes I ban the pompous dipshits who violate our rules. I find it works well in educating them about the rules that the net works by. This isn’t the legal system you are in.

    What I always find interesting is why in the hell anyone would consider “real names” to be important. The sysops should cut out anyone who breaks the legal system(s) and they usually do. Personally I put it all down to dumb arse journos who have as a group spent the last 150 years trying get their names on their own copy for egotistical, hierarchical, and career reasons. Now they are are pissed at meeting the computer net culture where anyone with a computer can publish ideas.

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  70. lprent (102 comments) says:

    Simon Arnold: You really are a silly bugger. It wasn’t a market mechanism that I used to cause behavioural change. There is no medium of exchange or barter to provide the required market signals.

    In this sewer you find the defectives who couldn’t cut it at TS. Why do you think that some of them are so hostile?

    Or so stupid as to think that name calling will increase the assessment by others of their intelligence or even help swell their dick sizes.

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  71. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    David Garrett

    Roger Douglas tells stories about cabinet meetings where Norm Kirk would study the unemployment figures…then order the Ministers of Railways and Works to hire X and Y number of workers…That’s how the railways ended up with 60,000 employees when it needed 10% of that number after being sold…so far so good; a job is better than being on the dole…the only trouble was it took a top tax rate of 66% and a whole raft of tariffs and subsidies to keep the whole shakey edifice going…

    This is the reality the younger lefties of today have never been told, and the older lefties conveniently forget. It simply can’t be repeated enough.

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  72. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    Ah Mr Prentice…When you say I was once a “a layer” I suppose you mean “lawyer”…Actually I still are one…in two different jurisdictions.

    Yes, You did indeed refer to activists from “the left” rather than “Labour” mea culpa (that means, loosely translated, “my fault”)

    Now things get a bit grittier…I am aware of this supposed axiom that no-one should use their own names on these things…total bollocks of course…One example that readily springs to mind is one Professor Andrew Geddis, who posts under his own name on “TS” but uses “AG” here…In one unguarded moment he told us that that was because he didn’t want Google searches to show he commented here…What little respect I had for him evaporated at that point…Sadly there are some here who use pseuds for the same reason…

    I am a rather old fashioned chap, and believe that if one is going to foist one’s opinions on others, one should at least be prepared to stand by them. The reason “real names” are important is related to that…it is also a development which was reached many years by newspapers…one could once write letter to the editor as “Mother of Inglewood” or even “ratepayer” and have them published…about 30 years ago the last provincial papers followed the lead of the metropolitans and stopped accepting such letters…I believe forums like this will eventually follow that lead…I may be wrong… God knows I have been wrong before…

    Mr Prentice: I really must protest your ill manners…”couldn’t cut it at TS”?? What effrontery! I have impeccable working class credentials (a delegate for both the Engineers [as they then were] and the Labourers Unions) and an Honours degree in Law…I am quite comfortable that I could “cut it” with your lot…they may of course not like the arguments…will you give me a …what …a visa,; a pass; to make lets say 50 comments on your blog without being banned? I can guarantee there would be no name calling and ill mannered behaviour…How about it? “Screaming Skull” Minto made just such a challenge to Bob Jones the other day…What say you?

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  73. Harriet (4,528 comments) says:

    “….Or so stupid as to think that name calling will increase the assessment by others of their intelligence or even help swell their dick sizes….”

    he said that – straight after he said this:

    “…..In this sewer you find the defectives who couldn’t cut it at TS…”

    Iprent: small man/dick/gay syndrome. Or just stupid.

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  74. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    Harriet: well, I have just laid down a challenge (sorry, a “whero”) to him…Let’s see what his response is…

    For anyone who missed the reference to “the Screaming Skull”, apparently Bob Jones took a big swipe at Minto the other day, calling him just that…Minto in turn has challenged Jones to a public debate, the cost of admission going to charity…

    I have made the same kind of challenge to Mr Prentice….I haven’t even specified that reference to “dead babies” is banned (I’m sure he is much more comfortable with that word than “prohibited”…)

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  75. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    Harriet

    The leftist ideology requires that sort of do as I say not as I do attitude. It’s seeped through lprent’s entire being.

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  76. OneTrack (2,619 comments) says:

    DG – When lprent says you couldn’t cut it, he means that you might present them with an “unapproved” viewpoint, which would result in an immediate ban. Only approved speech is permitted.

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  77. adze (1,870 comments) says:

    Exactly right OneTrack – it’s an echo chamber. And a sewer is often an echo chamber.

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  78. OneTrack (2,619 comments) says:

    Minto might find Jones a bit harder to rant at than a twenty year old female tennis player.

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  79. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    Exactly right OneTrack – it’s an echo chamber. And a sewer is often an echo chamber.

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  80. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    Come on Lynn…we know you are here…either say “It’s all on Garrett” or come up with some bullshit reason why I shouldn’t take on your best..saying nothing is very…is “wimpy” still allowed these days??

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  81. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    You wouldn’t last long up in the scrub LPrent, nor dare I say it on an oil rig.
    You’d get your silly little mouth smacked for having it gaping open for too long.
    Stick to your weird little virtual world where you reign supreme in your own mind! :)

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  82. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    Whatever we did to deserve several visits by legendary sysop lprent I sure hope we do it again. Diamonds were just dripping out of his sphincter.

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  83. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    He’s gone very quiet…perhaps there is more “code” that needs fixing…

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  84. nasska (10,689 comments) says:

    Comrade Prentice seems a little ruffled…..there’s not another rogue poll due out tomorrow is there? :)

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  85. HB (288 comments) says:

    “What is needed is a focus on the real problem: that not everyone in our society has the skills needed to take advantage of the opportunities that should be available to all. Among them are the 20 per cent of New Zealand’s school-leavers who, year after year, do not achieve NCEA level 2. It requires a suspension of belief to conclude they are failing because the rich are getter richer. The problem is more complex, but we will not solve it if we look in the wrong place.”

    The ‘failure’ rate is shrinking all the time – it may be around 20% now but this is much lower than at any time in our history (including equivalent qual. pre NCEA). 20% is too high, yes, but we will never get a 100% pass at NCEA L2 without dumbing it down (even further…). There is a significant percentage who will never be capable of passing. For example, there is a heap of kids who have fetal alcohol syndrome. Also, the qual. won’t really be worth anything if any can pass it.
    I also think that school isn’t for everyone. There is a role for workplace learning too which may be more appropriate for some people and some jobs.

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  86. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    David Garrett

    I must warn you. You are already pressing one of lprent’s hot spots. Fishing for answers, insinuating (or stating as you have) that the person is here but not answering. I kid you not – I’ve seen people banned for that. lprent categorises it as troll behaviour.

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  87. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    David Garrett

    Also, these extra prompts for answers will waste your valuable 50 posts.

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  88. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    HB: quite so…I always found it a bit odd that the teachers unions railed against a 50% pass rate…I am absolutely not a numbers/science person but I well understand the Bell curve, and the fact that 50% will always be found below and above the mean

    It’s connected to their odd belief that everyone can achieve, if only the goal posts are shifted…or something…

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  89. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    Burt: Well, it doesn’t really matter unless or until he accepts my challenge (my waters tell me he won’t)…from that point I will follow the rules scrupulously…In fact I suppose it ought to be clear that his mates only get 50 posts as well!! that should curb the “dead babyists”…

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  90. chris (567 comments) says:

    What’s this 50 post rule?

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  91. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    chris

    see: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/06/partridge_on_income_inequality.html/comment-page-1#comment-1338273

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  92. David Garrett (6,462 comments) says:

    Chris: No rule…I just proposed that I should be allowed 50 comments on what he likes to call “TS” before being banned… thus far Mr Prentice has remained silent…

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  93. chris (567 comments) says:

    Ta.

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  94. Pete George (22,866 comments) says:

    @lprent

    So yes I ban the pompous dipshits who violate our rules. I find it works well in educating them about the rules that the net works by.

    “pompous dipshits” – irony

    “violate our rules” – humour. lprent and a number of regulars violate their own rules frequently. The rules are used to intimidate and shut down any debate deemed against the Labour message.

    “educating them about the rules” – more humour? Or do you educate those who you give a free license to abuse on the quiet? They seem to know you won’t intervene, in fact you openly support and encourage it.

    “about rules that the net works by” arrogance. What rules? What “the net”? You happen to make up your own Standard rules (which you can, it’s your blog) but they are nothing like universal net rules. Fortunately for the net.

    For the record what lprent seems to have most objected to, or used as a weak excuse, is when the obvious is pointed out, that the culture of abuse and attempts to control the message by “education” is a pretty bad look for Labour in the blogosphere.

    I have no idea how closely involved Labour is with what happens at The Standard, unlike lprent I won’t make repeated unsubstantiated accusations as he has in his targeting of DPF over the past couple of weeks, but there’s a strong perception of a connection, The Standard is commonly seen as Labour. No number of lengthy explanations by lprent are likely to change that.

    So lprent chooses to keep the abuse and bullying going – at times organised and targeted with open aims to shut people up and out – presumably knowing that it keeps tainting Labour.

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  95. Grant (426 comments) says:

    Ms Prentice suggests that DPF will need convoluted logic to support his original post, and then at 6.26 provides screeds and screed of his own convoluted logic to try and explain the ephemiral differences between what IS actual labour party policy and what MIGHT BE policy but isn’t in a manifesto….
    Like Mr. Garrett, I too am impressed that you returned to dignify us with your presence, but I have to say your arrogance and conceit obviously know no bounds.
    If anyone at all posted comments in the tone and style that you used at 6.26, ie calling other bloggers munters, dickheads, accusations of arselicking, and insinuations of stupidity, (and that was in the first two paragraphs), at the standard then you would ban them without hesitation. Yet here, your comments are allowed to stand, and you are allowed to stay, but still your call this place a sewer, and yourself a progressive.
    That you cannot see how huge is your hypocrisy, and how stupid you make yourself look with constant posturing, speaks volumes for your self delusion and misguided sense of self importance.
    It is to our great fortune that you are such a wonderful code cutter / sysop, and that our nation doesn’t need any concentration camp guards. If we did, you’d be a shoo in.
    G

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  96. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    David:

    In a circumstance where someone references information irrelevant to the topic at hand (attacking the messenger in this case), I would view it as a compliment to my argument and a demonstration of a cap on the intellectual capacity of the opposing commentator. I suggest you do the same.

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  97. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    Well said mike tan! :)

    Just be certain you are comfy commenting here without Judith to advise you on health and safety! :)

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  98. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    Who are you standing for in September PG? :)

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  99. Pete George (22,866 comments) says:

    No plans for that, remaining an interested observer.

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  100. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    That’s a shame. Time you had another go. I suspect the force is strong in you Pete you just need to pick a better party next time! :)

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  101. Pete George (22,866 comments) says:

    There’s no better parties to pick.

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  102. freemark (452 comments) says:

    On LPrent’s visit’s today.
    Imagine the soporific tones of Attenborough if you will…
    ” the endangered parasitic red brained Shill emerges from the safety of it’s nest, having sucked out the addictive accolades of his tribe. Like many of his genus, he is threatened by his inability to adapt to a benign & rewarding environment, despite the small rise in CO2 levels enhancing the survivability of the higher species. His traditional hosts are following divergent paths – the ideological ancestors predominantly genderless or gender confused, or subject to Darwinian unattractiveness, therefore unlikely to reproduce. The drones this creature has traditionally leached off via involuntary contribution are now cognisant of the futility & self destructive results of their tribute, and now flock in droves to the brighter future – their relentless desire for advancement finally overcoming the malign influence of the poisonous Shill. Like the Flores cave rat, Goff’s pocket gopher, & other extinct rodents, this ugly creature is unlikely to survive a changed habitat for much longer”

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  103. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    99.5 % of those polled would disagree with you Pete…but who are they to argue with a man of strong beliefs? :)

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  104. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    The significant % of non-voters would agree*

    *assuming they aren’t lazy bastards :)

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  105. Colville (2,085 comments) says:

    PG.
    lprent talking about “our rules’ yet he constantly says that there is no ‘standard”, that it is just a bunch of bloggers.
    Making a comment against “the standards” lies/policy/hypocracy is instant banning.
    This obvious lie is really blown by the fact that he has said in the past “good luck suing “the Standard” as its an incorparated society.”
    I fucking hate incorparted societies with a passion. They are the biggest problem with what kills the RMA. But that is a different topic.

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  106. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    When I read the Labour policy it reminded me very much of the ACT policy which I read a few days ago in this site … but that is not so strange when you remember that many of the early ACT folk came from Labour …. I have not read the National Party’s version but I expect it is very similar too … designed to appeal to as many people as possible in the middle.

    Whatever … I really think neither the posters above or LP really know what is going on and what we all should be striving for.

    Basically taxation should be based on the ability to pay to support the government machine so that the successful are rewarded for their efforts by a progressive taxation level which doesn’t crush innitiative.

    In the Thomas Piketty book it is outlined a brief suggestion which seemed completely reasonable and he believes that the average person [ lets say those with incomes up to a million dollars a year ] would pay around 0.5% of their income while the richer would be taxed up to 7% …. and they would still have 93% of their income to build it to further heights.

    No foolish nonsense about equality of outcomes but rewards for endeavour if the person has it in them to achieve and in achieving they bear a proportionate increase due to their ability to pay.

    I wonder if many here have actually taken the trouble to read the ‘book’ or in my case the executive summary and it was cheaper and meant I didn’t give up becuase I imagine the weight of facts would make for very boring reading :)

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  107. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    In addition, the ACT party should stick true to its libertarian principles by making euthanasia a centerpiece of its platform.

    Once euthanasia legislation is achieved, it would be nice to see a further demonstration of its conviction to libertarian principles via controlled repeal of drug prohibition.

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  108. Simon Arnold (98 comments) says:

    lprent says June 9th, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    “Simon Arnold: You really are a silly bugger. It wasn’t a market mechanism that I used to cause behavioural change. There is no medium of exchange or barter to provide the required market signals. ”

    In the spirit of helping you understand some of this stuff a bit better, think about what is being exchanged here and what value each party is putting on it. You don’t need money for a market.

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  109. big bruv (13,328 comments) says:

    Why are some you getting pissed off with the comments of a non entity like Lynn Prentice?

    The man runs a hate blog populated by morons who think that the people of NZ want to go back to the 70′s, his views and the views of the other fools are irrelevant.

    Just remember, come September 21st he will be seething with rage as the people of NZ reject Cuntliffe, and, more importantly, reject Labour. As I said, Prentice is irrelevant.

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  110. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    Pop over to scan TS…

    I see this; http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-set-up-earthquake-court/#comment-828036

    BM 10
    9 June 2014 at 8:20 pm
    You disagree with what’s written here?

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/06/labours_insurance_court.html#comments

    [lprent: Decided that this comment has caused too much diversion on this post. It has been put into tomorrow so that Farrars ignorance doesn't disrupt our comment stream. ]

    You’ve really upset him DPF !

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  111. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    big bruv

    If Labour loose, pop over to TS and post ’3 more years’ … ‘We won, you lost – eat that’

    I will be ;-)

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  112. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    While i am probably identified as a “lefty” here, because of my strong views on social liberalism (government shouldn’t be involved at all, be it euthanasia, drug consumption or abortion), i largely identify with the right in that i view government intervention in the economy as detrimental to growth (and view wealth distribution as immoral). It’s a real shame that very few (anyone?) are strongly socially and financially liberal (this viewpoint is much more common in the USA). I would like to see an ACT party that represents the social/financial liberal position.

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  113. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    I sometimes consider joining ACT so i can espouse these views, but i am reluctant because i think that they are too far “against the grain”, regardless of the fact that i think that this is very ironic (by virtue of ACT being a libertarian party), maybe i should give it a go. I would appreciate the insight of any ACT members (i am looking at you David, but others too :) ).

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  114. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    When is Lynn “so stupid as to think that name calling will increase the assessment by others of their intelligence” Prentice going to come back and call us names?

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  115. freemark (452 comments) says:

    Let’s see how the subject of considerable scorn deals with this..

    .dimebag russell 21
    9 June 2014 at 10:09 pm
    because the tories own the media. They are not interested one wit in the truth. It gets in the way of looting the treasury and paying off their mates. if you believe otherwise then you are in la la land. The only way to shift these leeches is put the blow torch on them and dont let up.

    Reply
    Freemark
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    9 June 2014 at 11:47 pm
    It appears to me (and anyone else with a brain & a life) that you have been carved up and exposed on KB after your little hissy fits there. How embarrassing for you and the anonymous Labour MPs commenting here who have in desperation exhorted & no doubt financially induced you to spread the bullshit outside of you 3rd rate propaganda site. Doubtlessly you won’t have the balls to allow this comment through your truth censorship, I’ll make sure it is propagated through the blogosphere anyway. Pffftttt to the envious troughing losers on this site – a great example of why some of us were actually born to rule intellectually & morally.

    [Click to Edit | Delete] (9 minutes and 12 seconds)
    Reply

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  116. burt (7,835 comments) says:

    lprent – where are you ….

    [ sound of crickets .... ]

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  117. King Kong (33 comments) says:

    I have really enjoyed Lynn’s contributions over the years. It is much more fun reading his stuff when you have a clearer picture of who he is. As far as I can ascertain;

    -He is well into his fifties, has no children or spouse and bagged his first girlfriend only in the last couple of years (draw your own conclusions)
    -Is one of the pre-eminent exponents of all things computer (I believe he invented the internet), which is an industry that is known for its hefty remuneration, yet lives in a 40 square metre apartment in a middling Auckland suburb. Perhaps a result of a lifetime of squandering money on blow up dolls, porn subscriptions and lube.
    -Claims to come from some ferociously well respected family who, as a unit, can crush all before them. The only member of this family with any public profile is some silly little bird who got tricked into shagging an undercover mole and giving him all the secrets of some ridiculous eco terrorist sect. Many of the others according to Lynn, are on the dole, so quite the formidable “familia”

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  118. Manolo (13,394 comments) says:

    @King Kong: Thank your painting a picture and giving us a vivid description of Lynn Prentice, that formidable man.
    Clearer than ever I can see the roots (pun intended) of his effeminate character and personality.

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  119. MC2000 (10 comments) says:

    I think we all agree we shouldn’t try to improve equality by taxing richer people to death, destroying their incentives and capital resources and and dragging them down to the level of the poor people. That would just be petty and pointless.

    Certain people seem to fear that higher taxes on the rich will inevitably have this effect. But look at the US in the 1950s and early 1960s. The top bracket income tax rate was over 90%, and yet the economy, middle-class, and stock market boomed.

    So isn’t this fear of high taxes on the rich unfounded?

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  120. deadrightkev (278 comments) says:

    I have to say I have not always been kind to David Farrar and for good reason, however, I applaud David for the freedom of speech he allows on Kiwiblog.

    Whaleoil seems to have sanitised his blog down so much that swearing is out, dissent is out and arguing with Cam is a life ban. So everyone online there gets on swimmingly. I hope its not a trend as its not that much fun.

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  121. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    MC2000 … The left are petty and pointless and the right are selfish and irresponsible … so the world blunders on.
    The solution is somewhere in between where those with resources pay a fair share in keeping our society going without unduely curbing their incentive.

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