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Economic Weather report: Dependency ratio worsens in New Zealand

Posted in News

Bernard Hickey delivers an Economic Weather Report in association with ASB on the ratio of workers to beneficiaries in New Zealand that shows it has dropped sharply from over 2.5 in 2004 to under 1.5 because of the rising number of sickness beneficiaries, working for family beneficiaries, pensioners and those on the dole.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment in the box on the right or click on the "'Register" link at the bottom of the comments.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.


Why isn't there a step

Why isn't there a step change when 'working for families' was introduced?

On another thread, I said

On another thread, I said to Ray:

There is a proportion of youth today who resort to violence in the first instance, and who have no conscience. And that proportion is significantly higher than in the past, and to me, the reasons for this are obvious.

Does the Left get it yet?

Our society is almost at one noble person working to support one person sucking off the State. That's tipping point. And this National Government, as proven in English's first abysmal budget where he grew the welfare state, not even attacking that most obvious rort, suggested by peterr, Working for Families, doesn't have the guts needed to fix this. And three out of four posters to this forum, who think it is the State's job to fix this, when the State is the problem, show why National are so gutless.

Soon, surely, revolution becomes a matter of mathematics. Though, freedom has never seemed so far off.

Incidentally, add state sector workers

Incidentally, add state sector workers to the appropriate side of the ledger, beneficiaries (although they are worse than beneficiaries, because not only do they just passively feed off the productive sector - threatening violence when that sector does not acquiesce to the fencing racket that is our welfare state - their job is to actively put road blocks in front of the productive sector) then the ratios of those sucking at the State tit to those forced to pay for it, is almost 1 for 1.

Civilisations are undone from within, and so the Left have brought us to this tipping point: there's only one way back, slash the size of the State. But this government has already proven it does not have the wherewithal to do so.

So where to from here?

here is an e-mail I

here is an e-mail I recieved a while back, quite a good laugh.
Tax system explained in terms of beer - to make it more manageable (stick with this and it will make sense):

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers,' he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. 'Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so,

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!'
'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'
'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!' 'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!' The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Peter R, Working for Families

Peter R,

Working for Families took several years to ramp up and there were other beneficiaries joining over the same time, which smoothed that line, which is also subject to a change in the working age population as more workers left New Zealand


Should be fun when the

Should be fun when the X and Y gen lot shoot through having realised they are suckers to stay. Oh well, Friday is here and another day with the banks running the country and the govt doing nothing.

Nothing changes! “The national budget

Nothing changes!

"The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance". - Cicero, commenting on the disastrous state of Rome's finances in 55 BC

I regard WFF as a

I regard WFF as a tax break. Kind of like tax deductible expense on property except we are talking about kids here that we intend to use for the nations future productivity when we are old and unproductive. So why don't we lump property investors in there as beneficiaries as well?

Youth who have left school,

Youth who have left school, under 24 (I think) who do not work or only have part time jobs, do not qualify for unemployment or WFF

If a spouse gives up work to study full time for a Degree, doent qualify for student allowance, instead this goes onto the student loan

And if a person is just above the ave wage, they often have to support both of the above..and do so with no assistance....and generally in most cases do so without complaint...

The system is full of stupid anomalies that are very common in our community.

The Working for families and unemployment benefit systems, has grown into huge expensive bureaucratic monster, totally distorting the wage systems, accurate stats, distorts wealth distribution (and what wealth distribution it does do is ineffective) with extremely derogatory influences on the mind set of our society.
Add to that a taxation system that is closely meshed into the above, the whole thing is a total disaster which now is going to be almost impossible to disassemble.

Then we look at some of the old systems of child care (orphanages) and mental instututions..which have been closed down...which effect serious child crime, street gangs full prisons that we cant afford, justice systems now under huge pressure.

Add to the above, the removal of parental responsibility, Privacy laws that give CHILDREN the right to make mature serious 'calls' without any life experience ....

The cost just to return to proven systems is now unfordable,and we no longer have the trained staff to do so.

Or maybe threat WFF in the same way as student loans?
(just an after thought ..not thought thru yet)

This whole social experiment/manipulation is now falling apart in the same manner as the Eastern Communist Block political system finally did so with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

"social experiment is now falling

"social experiment is now falling apart" not to worry Steptoe, John will get the spin doctors onto the matter and after a quick load of BS, the ship of state can continue on its voyage to the bottom of the sea. Just be sure to swim well clear as the suction reaches out to pull more suckers down with the rusting hulk.
This week we had English doing his impression of Homer Simpson with his blather about " keeping in mind the larger picture". Bill escaped into the crowd before the gobsmacked journalists got to figure out he hadn't a clue what the hell else to say.
Maybe Bill was thinking about Helen's painting skills!
August is almost here and the RE mob will be trotting out their 'spring' message for the fools. They will get maximum support in their scams and rorts from the banks, the mortgage brokers and the greedy media.
Keep the credit flowing strong and fast you lot. An endless residential property splurging bubble of insanity is the only game in town and it has the FULL support of the do nothing govt.

I was flabbergasted to learn

I was flabbergasted to learn about three weeks ago that our grandchild, 18 years old and at High School, was drawing a student allowance - at High School! All her mates apply for it as soon as they turn 18.

Guess what they tend to spend most of it on?


This system is pure evil, lacks all compassion by destroying families and trying to replace them with a cold hearted State, in all this is taking with it our freedoms and throwing them, our youth, our future, down the toilet of collectivism.

However, unless serious changes were

However, unless serious changes were made to the New Zealand tax system, there was no financial benefit in bringing money back across the Tasman, Mercer business leader Bernie O'Brien said.

"The only advantage of moving your money from Australia back to New Zealand is a desire to manage all your retirement assets in one place," he said.

All money invested in Kiwisaver scheme was taxed at either 19.5 or 30 percent, compared to Australian schemes' usual 15 percent.
very interesting

Mark said: "This system is

Mark said: "This system is pure evil, lacks all compassion by destroying families and trying to replace them with a cold hearted State, in all this is taking with it our freedoms and throwing them, our youth, our future, down the toilet of collectivism".

Mark - we cannot say we were not warned. The prescience of Friedrich von Hayek in his "Road to Serfdom" now seems so extraordinary - especially if you consider that this was first published in 1944. Hayek explained with such pathos about the disastrous path of socialism - the precursor of fascism - along which Britain and the other great powers fighting Nazi Germany were traveling. That was to be the ultimate paradox - the very thing against which the struggle was being fought represented the very destination to which the liberator was ultimately headed. As Hayek argued, Germany's decent into National Socialism was not some abberation - but the inevitable end point of the benign and well-meaning socialism that had begun under Chancellor Bismarck. Your use of the term 'evil' may be old-fashioned - but it is the only term adequate to describe what is happening.

is there a pie graph

is there a pie graph which shows where our taxes go?

One thing that bugs me is that my wife and I don't have kids as I got married late but a lot of people don't give a hoot and they expect the taxpayer to provide for their kids (and provide a state house). As they age their kids will arrive with xmas presents but out there will be a lot of unmarrieds who will have no family at xmas but would have contributed to WFF over their working lives.

jh, you've got it in

jh, you've got it in one. A tax credit system that rewards people, including the Kahuis, for having children, punishes those who choose not to have children. No one has the right to expect total strangers to fund the bringing up of their children, that is, having children is a life choice that you have to be responsible for, and if you're not prepared to be so, or you haven't got the wherewithal, then don't have children.

Malcolm, excellent post about Hayek, and I loved the earlier Cicero quotation. And from the former, a quotation of my own for Flip Flop (in respect of Working for Families - middle class welfare, remember) John Key:

Tonight we find ourselves in a moment similar to that in which the economist, Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom in 1943. Then, as now, a great financial crash was seen as a failure of freedom. Actually, things were even worse then for Hayek's point of view. In the aftermath of the Depression, many pointed out the apparent success of centrally planned industrialization in the Soviet Union in outperforming markets. As Hayek wrote in 1943, democracy barely existed outside of a few English-speaking societies. Even in the U.S., people noted the apparent success of government top-down planning for wartime production of arms. Under these circumstances, Hayek knew he would be caricatured as a right-wing ideologue, even though his ideas did not fit into the stale partisan debate about markets versus government. He argued that the best system in the long run relied upon the creativity of individuals at the bottom who had both political and economic freedom. In a way I will describe below, Hayek saw both government and markets as functioning better the more they were the outcome of spontaneous development from the bottom up, with nobody in charge. It took courage to criticize top-down control after the scary calamities of the Depression, yet Hayek's vision would be vindicated by subsequent events. How many of us will show similar intellectual courage in the midst of today's financial crash?


Bernard - 2.5 to 1.5!

Bernard - 2.5 to 1.5! 2.5 is bad enough - no wonder JK is concerned about productivity, and HC before him (yeah right!). So we just gotta work harder,...hmmm...certainly looks like it carry on regardless 1.5 your country needs you. (Useful report - amazed.)

Malcolm - scarey, where to next?

Mark - dependency, again:

"As part of a programme at Uni I chose the topic of "˜Teenage Pregnancy' for the exercise of some techniques ....."

I love the way the

I love the way the young Gen x and Y are the cause of alot of problems son the posts here .

the older people should think about this they got a free education . and had a much better ratio of income to house price when they were young and have loved the growth in house prices over the years cause it made them alot richer than they really are.

New Zealand needs to think about this and it needs to do something to balance the table

a hand out isn't what it needs though how to many people get a hand out fo the tax man . and I see them daily in my work , the fact is it is a problem of the system families are being raised on a benefit and when they hit 18 they think firs thing to do is go see the tax man not get a job.

the scary thing is what most of them call the benefits ... WAGES last time I worked for my Wages .

New Zealand needs to teach it's young how to control money in their account and what it means to work for a dollar . cause working for that dollar makes you respect it more than it the government just hands to you

get rid of superannuation -

get rid of superannuation - now.

No way rbot, the grey

No way rbot, the grey mob outnumber and outvote the rest. Paying us heaps to play golf is best. We're not at fault for an economy in the gutter, most of it goes back when we have a flutter. Spare us the complaining and get back on the job, be thankful we still leave you, with a few bob.

Wally - you and your

Wally - you and your mates will be dead and buried soon. Even if your assets are disposed of at a discount - my generation will be inheriting all your wealth in some form or another in the next few years. Given your out look on life I think you'll be sooner rather then later. My grandfather left all his grand kids $50K each when he passed on last year. And that was after leaving his kids $300K each.

RIP Wally

There is a good and

There is a good and well known quote......First generation makes it, 2nd generation saves it, 3rd generation wastes it....

Mark Hubbard for PM!

Mark Hubbard for PM!

Malcolm, Mark The Cicero quotaion

Malcolm, Mark

The Cicero quotaion is a fraud, the source quote is "The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign hands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall.", its nothing to do with welfare, and in fact he was wrong, Rome as an Empire exploited foreign lands


peterR: that graph has pretty

peterR: that graph has pretty clear step to my mind, given time lag of ppl ramping up claiming. Its pretty worrying, I dont see how it can be sustained.

Mark Hubbard: Where to from here? continued obscurity for Libertanz, and thank god for that...This isnt a "left" problem, National are no better, Bush was no better except he spent money on bombs and guns, rich and big business tax breaks instead.

"So why don't we lump property investors in there" Because property investors are not productive in terms of wealth for NZ.

"down the toilet of collectivism", rather than than the yoke of capitalism....or the starvation of liberatnzism...the lesser of the three evils by far.



Just a thought for those

Just a thought for those who have no children and have difficulty with the idea of WFF.

I am a solo parent.There is no point me being on the benefit because where live it doesn't even cover rent.I could move to a cheaper part of the country but then the kids would grow up not being in close proximity to their father, an investment which can't be quantified in dollar terms.

so i have to work, fine, except that my options are limited because I need to be there for the kids after school and in weekends,the cost of childcare is not only prohibitive against wages but I also believe in giving the kids a homebased environment outside the "state based" environment of school.Plus they have sports etc outside school time.
An investment which can't be quantified etc. etc.

Perhaps you would rather they grow up without their dad and get shoved from after school childcare facility to wherever else and miss out on extra activities, which by the way the education system used to provide in school hours but does not anymore.

So I earn a low income.When that WFF money comes in it gets spent entirely on the kids.Including school fees which exist because they attend a decile 10 school, a calculation based on the childless wealthy who have recently invaded the area!!

I understand why it seems rude to take your money and give it to me.But remember this when you collect your super, even if its small, and all the subsidies the retired are entitled to, and drive on the roads....that they will be paying the taxes to fund it.I'm not assuming they will be holding you up at gunpoint either, and quite possibly I might have to sacrifice them to some stupid war.

What a bunch of selfish wingers.

Also- the custody is joint-

Also- the custody is joint- so no support from dad, and his working hours are limited also.Although, being Male, he gets to earn a bit more than I do, just the way it is huh? Perhaps we could work on changing that particular scenario.But he gets less WFF you'll be pleased to know.

I, like many, am still catching up on the lost career traction which comes about from daring to have kids, daring to repopulate the nation, and daring to contribute to the future tax/human resource pool of our nation.The financial cost of the pre-school years on families is enormous if you don't want to drop your kids off at 8am and pick them up at 5pm- tired, snotty and wondering who the hell you are.

There are many more dumb places to place taxes than WFF.

If we didn't have to

If we didn't have to fork out so much $$$ for shelter we wouldn't even need WFF.

Good to see you here Jane. We need more contributors like you here for balance.

"But remember this when you

"But remember this when you collect your super, even if its small, and all the subsidies the retired are entitled to, and drive on the roads"¦.that they will be paying the taxes to fund it."

childless people are paying taxes now to fund our present superanuitants, it is an intergenerational contract. Jane is suggesting we should subsidise families as they will probably be taxpayers. If that is the case perhaps we should pick winners and pay some couples to remain childless (some could earn a premium).

Since when was having children

Since when was having children seen as a job in the service the nation (maybe the nation should have a say in who it employs)?

Jane Some thoughts... Firstly, I

Some thoughts...
Firstly, I don't want to put you down. Its always unfortunate when divorces break up families, and the economic impact can be devastating. Also, it is easy to criticise something like WFF when you are in a stable relationship and earning well, but as soon as something happens, it can be a godsend. I have some friends, they were pretty conservative, always used to moan on about all the dole bludgers etc. then their marriage fell apart, they are really stuggling, and reliant on hand outs. Ironic huh!!??


Don't you think there is another way to skin a cat? Ie. rather than giving people handouts which creates a very inefficient system, why not everyone have a tax cut instead?

Also, perhaps if there were more enlightened policies around urban planning, supply of housing to the market to meet demand would ensure house prices didn't blow out, then we wouldn't have to pay so much for housing and there would be less pressure on all of our wallets. Avoiding housing bubbles would also place less pressure on marriages, as there would be less financial pressure to try and pay off the huge mortgage on 2 fulltime incomes when kids are screaming for love and attention.

The key to my happy marriage, I believe, amongst many things is that my wife doesn't work. It means we can't buy a house, but it also means we stay sane and our young children get the love and attention they deserve

Not everyone can afford to do that, but I also think that people have pushed themselves to breaking point by stretching to keep up with the Jones

I say stuff the Jones

Jane, it is up to

Jane, it is up to you and your ex to figure out your own arrangements, including funding your children's future, which includes both arranging your affairs so that you are in close proximity. Just because you split up, that's not a call on me. I don't know you, or your ex. That was the responsibility you 'both' took on whether you stayed together or not. If that involves sacrifice now, in terms of careers, etc, that's the deal you both entered with open eyes.

But great to see you've not taken the easy option of the DPB.

Steven: I bet you don't even understand the central tenants of Libertarinism, nor the philosophy that informs it: Objectivism. The only thing you were right about was that National are no better than Labour: they're both a party of collectivists.

... And Libertarians are from

... And Libertarians are from neither the Right nor the Left of the political spectrum.

Actually, explain to me Steven,

Actually, explain to me Steven, what is 'the yoke of capitalism' (acknowledging we do not have laissez faire capitalist systems, and this financial crisis had nothing to do with the workings of an unregulated capitalism, but, indeed, the opposite, that we do not have same)?

Given collectivist systems in the past, and present, have only ever been proven to be efficient at killing their own citizens, or at the very least, stripping them of their freedoms on the bloodied altar of 'the common good', how can you stoop to the evil of your last statement? What would motivate such a heinous statement from you?

<b>Neven</b> I've been Googling that


I've been Googling that Cicero quotation since your post, and you're right, there is controversy over the exactness of it.

I can't find any reference to your interpretation, though I suspect is may be the right one. Is it possible to give me a link?

(I'd love to use it in something I'm working on, but only if I can reliable tag it one way or the other). Cheers.

Mark I chased around the


I chased around the interweb months ago and it stems from some newspaper article where the guy paraphrased the Circero quote and that then became a quote. see

It simply does not sound right, Budgets in roman times?


Mm. I fear you're right.

Mm. I fear you're right. Cheers for that.

(Per your link, yes, it sounds like a Reagan speech, though from my Google, it appears a lot of politicians have 'appropriated' it.)

Mark Hubbard of coarse its

Mark Hubbard

of coarse its up to me and my ex to sort our own arrangements. And I knew when I had kids that life was going to change.And although I am of generation jones i have never felt the need to keep up with them and have always tried to live frugally and efficiently, financially speaking.WFF just helps soften the blow caused by a number of things in my case:

the changes in education spending so that what most of us considered part of our school day, sports, cultural etc are now after school activities which parents now have to fork out for

The ( still ) unequal status of earning power between men and women ( the stats back that up )

the stupid decile system for school funding which penalizes parents who live among childless wealthy

the even more stupid law which allows non resident non tax payers to own property in this country which has definitely helped cause the blowout in housing costs.

If the govt dumps WFF then something in my life will have to give , my problem, I will do everything I can not to bring up undereducated criminals with head problems, (which will save the taxpayer in the longrun ) Wff just gives me a little more arsenal to do that.

If we dealt to the sickness we wouldn't need the medicine.Deal to the wonky structure then there would be no need to prop it up.


Parenting is not a " job " in service of the nation but there is a responsibility.When a kid doesn't turn out as law abiding, or is obese, etc then its "blame the parents for this blight on our society" time.

PS Its not forever, I look forward to when I have more independence/options and will earn a lot more and will be happy to pay a lot of tax if someone else out there needs it.
Does not include, MP perks or Party central.

lets not forget all the

lets not forget all the other "dependancy" areas:

- deposit guarantee for banks (its nice to say you are govt backed even though your industry is the reason for the problems in the first place)
- tax breaks for negatively geared investors
- tax concessions for homeowners (I pay tax on my savings, not my house)
- our massive public service, i reckon we could get away easily with half numbers in govt departments and not notice it.

Jane, as Matt said, if

Jane, as Matt said, if we cut the taxes you would have more money in your pocket without having to pay what, 30 or 40 cents in the dollar for the bureaucracy to take that money off me (which you have no right to), and then dole it out to you.

Other than that, your arguments change nothing of what I said above.

If the govt dumps WFF then something in my life will have to give , my problem...

Yes, and that is as it should be, again, as I said, you have to accept changes in your lives and in this case sacrifices because you are parents, but the problem is at the moment 'it is not your problem' is it? You, and reading between the lines, your ex, have not had to accept the responsibility of having had children. You've said as much above.

And, taking the cross hairs away from yourself, having seen how the child support system works, I know there are a huge number of separated spouses who are no where near footing the bill for their children - thus I'm having to - and the system provides an easy out for them. Appalling.

I will do everything I can not to bring up undereducated criminals with head problems...

And unfortunately that's where is always ends up, isn't it. The black mail argument. I have to have my freedoms curtailed, forcibly have a transfer of my income to you, so that your children won't grow up and mug me. I will never accept that arugment, as it is that argument that shows precisely the evil of the welfare state, not any advantage of it: as I've said elsewhere, it's called a fencing racket, and if I went to your home and said give me money or else, I would rightly be facing charges. It's an initiation of force. This entire State we have set up works on an assumed initiation of force by the State on its individuals, where as the 's'tate should be the opposite, the mere servant of the individual.

Sorry, and I don't want to be personal, but ultimately, the fight to regain freedom, and to live in a civilised society, that society being a movement toward privacy - as opposed to the direction where have now gone where the State is all knowing: this is an intensely personal thing.

And the problem is, there is not a single MP in Parliament who represents these views, hence our devolution into the Gulag NZ is becoming (though, just as in the Soviet Union, bankruptcy will probably get us first).

All power to you Jane.

All power to you Jane. I think you should be proud of your responsible attitude and deeds.

Like Josh I feel the sad thing about WFF is that it makes 'normal' folk into beneficiaries. In my day (a long time ago) the tax system gave tax breaks for folk with children. It was so simple, a married taxpayer would be M1, M2 etc reducing tax according to the number of children. Single parents got the breaks too under an S1, S2 basis; you get the picture. Labelling folks never tells the whole story; circumstance change is almost in-evitable in a lifetime. I've met many, critical of others, who later have had reason to review their thinking...

Ian, Jane is a responsible

Ian, Jane is a responsible parent, that is abundently clear. But what of the growing number of parents, created by the welfare state, who are not. For example, well over half of teenage mothers (over 5000 last year, and growing every year), spend fifteen years plus on the benefit system.

And again, tax breaks that advantage having children, punish those who responsibly choose not to have children. Why is this acceptable?

I thought you lot might

I thought you lot might like to read a transcript of the stuff my bug picked up from inside the ventilation ducting on the 9th floor of the Beehive!
"John, I've had a request from Fitch for a full copy of our economic strategy"
"I gave them a copy?"
"No, they want the details"
"What details?"

If only life was 'fair'

If only life was 'fair' Mark. Your 1st point is un-arguable. However denying breaks to those with children could be argued as benefitting those without children. Humanity, and all our futures, depend on our having children one way or another. The reality is that raising children is horrendously expensive ...but ironically this consumption can benefit others like storeowners etc, etc, who then pay taxes.......

jh Says: "Since when was

jh Says:
"Since when was having children seen as a job in the service the nation (maybe the nation should have a say in who it employs)?"

It is obvious that you are not a parent, have no concept that the quality of a societies future is totally deponent on the moral and education of the parenting of our children.
Good parenting is a 18 /20 yr commitment to the future of our country.
Good parenting has nothing to do with how well off one is.

And Jane, no one here is saying solo parents are not doing a good job, or should be dropped out of the system by scraping WFF....
The problem is WFF creates a generation of people who often depend upon it..permentally, rather than an attitude of 'can we stand on our own to feet ' and work to that objective...

When I grew up my mother struggled on a Widows benifit...and that was far harder in the 60s than now.....Over and above anything else was what we where taught at home re budgeting, the difference between right and wrong, hard work, and commitment, all by example.
Children raised in these circumstances tend to turn out to be very successful adults, with basic common sense. Successful doesn't mean wealth, higher education, comfortable, but someone with good work and moral ethics, commitment to their family.

Marioe Says:
"There is a good and well known quote"¦"¦First generation makes it, 2nd generation saves it, 3rd generation wastes it"¦."
The big issue is the "3rd generation wastes it" and today we have the 3rd generation of parents...How many people on WFF have a veggie garden...
Cost it out...The time in a garden works out to about $80/hr tax free..very healthy eating, lower health bills.
We have one of our married children on WFF...because we had a veggie garden/hens (in the middle of suburbia) just to make ends meet, just, they to have one.
Comment came back over dinner not so long ago.." Dad, that is one of the biggest things you have done for us and your grandchildren"

What I resent is to see those on WFF complain "we are broke, can save , schools to expensive" then show them they can add a heel of a lot to the weekly budget with very little work or know how, and cant get off their (fat) butts to do a little more for their quality of life...That attitude sucks.

Josh Says: July 18th, 2009

Josh Says:
July 18th, 2009 at 10:48 am
I regard WFF as a tax break. Kind of like tax deductible expense on property except we are talking about kids here that we intend to use for the nations future productivity when we are old and unproductive. So why don't we lump property investors in there as beneficiaries as well?

That's a very interesting point - and not one which anyone subsequent has addressed. That was also my understanding of WFF - those adult workers with dependent children get a tax credit if their wages are so low as to make work a less rational choice for their family. In other words, wasn't the policy objective to give incentive to work, rather than receive a benefit, such as the DPB or unemployment?

If this were the case - then isn't it more a subsidy to employers, or a means to bolster the wages they pay - thus giving people the incentive to work for those low wages, and hence keep the cost of production down so that NZ can compete with the likes of India, China etc.?

I look at it this way - the cost of living must be too high here, or the wages too low here, or the taxes too high here - or all of the above, if this kind of tax credit is needed in order to make ends meet if you are a wage earner responsible for dependent non-wage earners.

Jane - "I understand why

Jane - "I understand why it seems rude to take your money and give it to me.But remember this when you collect your super, even if its small, and all the subsidies the retired are entitled to, and drive on the roads"¦.that they will be paying the taxes to fund it.I'm not assuming they will be holding you up at gunpoint either, and quite possibly I might have to sacrifice them to some stupid war.

What a bunch of selfish wingers."

Nice point. Pound to a pinch we'd find many who begrudge those a hand-up are the same people who fight tooth and nail to preserve the status quo of a bent taxation system and the 'asset tax haven' that NZ has become. Hence my points illustrated in the link given in my post above, moving from dependency associated with a teenage pregnancy situation through to property investment. (jimmy - July 19th, 2009 at 9:57 am - agreed.) Calling WFF 'middle-class welfare' is a nicely loaded phrase, I like it, very catchy - but how should we describe the absence of effective asset taxation? I call it the 'subsidy that got away', but might there be a more loaded, socially unacceptable term we could use? Anyway Jane if you want to see some good entertaining whinging have a look here:

If you are a newcomer to you may have missed this thread which is worth a read too.

In Bernard's 'What I think' section, he found from IRD that NZ could remain revenue neutral with a broad, flat tax rate of 23%. That is, corp, income, trust - if we included an asset tax (CGT/LVT). Hey, tell me the system isn't distorted with that kind of reduction in corp, income and trust tax! Cutting out some of the dumb wasteful spending typical of successive NZ govs. might even see it lower.

Imagine that; would we need supplementary income benefits like WFF in that kind of regime - nope! In addition consider the effect on accommodation affordability - reduced asset prices, more in your pocket and increasing gross incomes as other sectors managed to develop because of a balanced taxation system - and with a simple exemption threshold (as decribed in BH's piece) more time for couples to be couples and parents to be parents - families could work for themselves - rather than leave that to the state.

So as for people who whinge about the 'Nanny State' - fine, whinge on - I don't like it either - 2.5 to 1.5 - amazing Ms Clark. However, if we change to a 'Strict Aunty State' what subsidy would get away from you?

Jane, you sound like the kind of person who appreciates WFF as a hand-up, not a hand-out and so I hope you can make it work for that purpose and get back on your own two feet in good time.

Ian Walker: "Like Josh I

Ian Walker: "Like Josh I feel the sad thing about WFF is that it makes "˜normal' folk into beneficiaries"

As a newcomer here who has decided to raise my head (warily) above the parapet, can someone please explain to me how WFF differs in essence from the Family Benefit which thousands of Baby Boomer's parents received on a fortnightly basis and which many of those same parents cashed in for a lump sum as a down payment on their first home (and a cheap State Advances loan) Countless boomers (and technically I'm one) benefited enormously from what would be termed today a 'hand-out' or 'middle class welfare'.

My father till the day he died attributed our family's subsequent upward mobility to that initial 'hand up' as he put it and of course through hard work he re-paid many times over that initial investment.

For a long time I

For a long time I assumed the taxes everyone paid went towards their National Super.

You're a wag jh! Will

You're a wag jh! Will you be staying, to help pay the interest to the foreigners who are funding the promises made by the fools who think they did such a grand job or running the country?

Joolzz - I think the

Joolzz - I think the difference between the Family Benefit and WFF - is that Family Benefit was paid to all parents, working or not, on a per child basis; whereas WFF is a tax credit available only to people working who have dependent children. The tax credit is also calculated based on income - and therefore a progressive type of tax mechanism (whereas the Family Benefit was a universal benefit, regardless of income).

Cheers all great feedback Mark

Cheers all great feedback

Mark Hubbard,

"you and your ex have not had to accept the responsibility of having children,you said so much above"

I disagree with your interpretation, the responsibility is all ours, for the fundamentals.Together or not this may mean renting not buying (re Matt from Auck), less toys,holidays, or putting off buying gas for the stove top and thinking off ditching the cellphone.( this weeks adventures ) Wouldn't trade the kids for anything.But if there is to be absolutely no interest from the wider community as to whether my exhaustion and absence while I work flat out affects the general wellbeing of my kids.No interest in how they view their community and their place in it.No interest in the quality of their health and education and how that may affect their burden on/contribution to, society
when they become adults.If none of this is any of your business then what is the point of discussing anything to do with our collective economic health as a nation?

Any straight thinking business person will acknowledge that human resource is an integral part of success.And it has been identified that this country is lacking in certain types.The children of this nation are an opportunity to be the nations investment.

Cut WFF and all child related benefits but could I have:

A tax regime where no tax is paid on the first $20k ( excluding laqc's in the calculation of course)This would place me in about the same position,

scrap the decile based funding of schools or allow me to apply for a subsidy for all education costs that exist not because of my low income but because of the Mark Hubbards and his childless millionare mates living down the road.Who is subsidising who in the current scenario?

When they say 20 hrs free chilcare, or free dental, or cheaper doctors, actually set it up to be workable.If your local childcare centre chooses not to register or is full... tough
if you want composite instead of lead fillings for your kid you have to pay....tough
if you take your kid to the doctor in the full price.Don't take our money then give us stale bread.

One more thing: there is a lot of creative and clever thinking that goes into 2 or more people living on $20k- hand out or not.Vege gardens and knitting aside I consider this one of the flaws in the system, apart from management/survival skills that can be handed on to kids,we miss out as a nation on harnessing those skills and quantifying them into something more productive.Does the notion that "we need to save more" only apply to money.The other economies of "time" and "resources" are where we also need to save, or be more efficient with and possibly build better business models where lower costs do not mean lower wages.

If Jane represents NZ'rs then

If Jane represents NZ'rs then the country is doomed.

Jane you continual claim a that your problems are caused by childless couples, I seem to be sensing some resentment on your part and also you make a false claim they are somehow not contributing to the raising of your children.

Lets assume then that a childless couple lives on your street, both work and they earn a total of 75,000 a year and next door to them lives a couple with two kids who also make 75,000, who pays more tax. According to you the childless couple should pay more, why? Could you please give a logical argument for why that should be. Their taxes are helping you as they are paying for your childs healthcare and schooling, what more do you want, them to come around once a week and cook dinner for you!!!

Any tax breaks based on children or mortagage deduction or anything that isn't universallly applied accross the whole of society is inherently unfair and they always disadvantage a minority group in this case childless people in NZ.

Note Jane since you expect Mark to pay for the raising of your children then he should be able to expect something from your kids, Id suggest you send them around to his house to mow his lawns for free.

That chart certainly throws a

That chart certainly throws a new twist on the slogan "workers of the world unite" maybe the good comrade wasn't so wrong after all.

Dear jh You should have

Dear jh

You should have had children. NZ actually needs them. Only a loser would decry the people actualy doing the hard yards for New Zealand's future. Being a stable child-oriented person, I'm saving for my retirement and ammassing assets for my children. Childless people give me the creeps.

David Cook Were you ever

David Cook

Were you ever a child or simply spawned as a right wing adult?


I'm remarried and I don't get WFF, I actually have to hand over 24% of my income for the pleasure of caring for my children, such is the fem socialist structure we have.

I have one piece of advice thought, don't pay school "fees/donations", it totally pisses me off that the state that happliy introduced the WFF benefit also passively condones schools breaking the law and blackmailing parents.

One thing about Bernards pretty picture above is that of course it is distorted, a WFF recipients can be earners as well as beneficiaries, but that is what Helen and Michael wanted isn't it, a compliant, dependent electorate


Neven - a very interesting

Neven - a very interesting email, on the one hand critical of the right, on the other hand critical of the left
Might you just be apolitical like myself?

The centre is right.

The centre is right.

Neven, what, exactly, is so

Neven, what, exactly, is so wrong with what Malcolm said?

And I'm not talking about Jane now, but this bromide that children are our future is bullshit. Some of them are, many are our demise, and as a society we would be much better off if people were parenting based on natural love and affection, not the Government pay cheque. Quality, if you like, rather than quantity, and without stealing my effort which I quite reasonably would rather put elsewhere, in my own projects (some of which may well be philanthropic, though that is entirely not the point).

Then answer me this, you have made the follow assumption - I want to know why?

"I want to keep what I earn" is regarded as greedy and unenlightened.
"I want to take what you earn" is regarded as selfless and progressive.

Well? This has always mystified me.

For those that want to

For those that want to see charts of exactly where govt revenues come and go -
According to OECD income inequality study 2008 New Zealand households received 13% of their income from social welfare benefits, less than OECD average of 22%.

Nickk - that tax story you put put forward here -
is an old chestnut that was debunked a longtime ago. That story would be true if everyone in the proggressive tax system all paid what they should and gives no consideration of tax avoidance or non-disclosure of income. Sure looking at ird presented tax figures it appears up front that there is a large disparity between tax paid by high earners and the middle/lower earners, but this disparity is nowhere near the ever increasing income equality between the Paye taxpayer and those who practice avoidence by creative accounting. I give you the following in support, a lot related to other countries, but follows suit in NZ via Multilateral Investment Agreements(MIAs) -

- This from OECD Secretary-General 2008 report of Income Inequality study -
"Secondly, growing inequality raises political challenges because it breeds social resentment, it questions the ultimate role of democracy and generates political instability. It also fuels populist, protectionist and anti-globalisation sentiments. People will no longer support open trade and free markets if they feel that they are losing out while a small group of winners is getting richer and richer.",3343,en_2649_33933_41533262_1_1_1_1,00...

- This from - Who Rules America - for those who demand impecable references and lots of charts -
"In terms of types of financial wealth, the top one percent of households have 36.7% of all privately held stock, 63.8% of financial securities, and 61.9% of business equity. The top 10% have 85% to 90% of stock, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and over 75% of non-home real estate. Since financial wealth is what counts as far as the control of income-producing assets, we can say that just 10% of the people own the United States of America..........Here are some dramatic facts that sum up how the wealth distribution became even more concentrated between 1983 and 2004, in good part due to the tax cuts for the wealthy and the defeat of labor unions: Of all the new financial wealth created by the American economy in that 21-year-period, fully 42% of it went to the top 1%. A whopping 94% went to the top 20%, which of course means that the bottom 80% received only 6% of all the new financial wealth generated in the United States during the '80s, '90s, and early 2000s (Wolff, 2007)."

- This from Joel S Hirschhorn ex senior staffer for the U.S. Congress and for the National Governors Association -
"Third Way's report "The New Rules Economy" uses sleazy statistical tricks to create a false image of rising economic prosperity for middle class Americans. You know the group is full of crap when the intellectually bankrupt New York Times columnist David Brooks praises its findings. Anyone who believes this report's data and conclusions is either in the Upper Class or is just plain gullible. The report argues that the middle class is not stagnating, not drowning in debt, not being victimized by free trade. Is this your reality?"
More of his most informative articles can be found here

This from independent news source -
"Corporations systematically created a wealth gap over the last 30 years. In 1955, IRS records indicated the 400 richest people in the country were worth an average $12.6 million, adjusted for inflation. In 2006, the 400 richest increased their average to $263 million, representing an epochal shift of wealth upward in the U.S.

In 1955, the richest tier paid an average 51.2 percent of their income in taxes under a progressive federal income tax that included loopholes. By 2006, the richest paid only 17.2 percent of their income in taxes. In 1955, the proportion of federal income from corporate taxes was 33 percent; by 2003, it decreased to 7.4 percent. Today, the top taxpayers pay the same percentage of their incomes in taxes as those making $50,000 to $75,000, although they doubled their share of total U.S. income."

And for those that doubt that the same transfer of wealth to an elite few is happening in NZ.

This chart from economist magazine re OECD 2008 income inequities report -
"Countries such as the United States and New Zealand saw large increases from an already unequal base."

This from Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa(CAFCA)
"Transnational corporations (TNCs) make massive profits out of New Zealand. These can truly be called New Zealand's biggest invisible export. In the decade 1997-2006, TNCs made $50.3 billion profits. Only 32% was reinvested, and in some years more was sent overseas than was earned or the reinvestment was significantly offset by capital being taken out of the country...........................Foreign investors are not great for employment - they only employ 19% of the workforce, despite owning a huge proportion of the economy. Foreign ownership does not guarantee more jobs. In fact, it quite often adds to unemployment. TNCs have made tens of thousands jobless. "

Lets make sure we have the right culprits in our sights before we fire people.

The problem with children is

The problem with children is that they cost money for people who are workers and make it for people who aren't. Huge disincentive for productive people to have children - its the worst thing you can do for your finances.

Who do the childless people think is going to pay their super when they retire? I hope they're all planning to remain productive workers until they die.

to my mind the giant elephant in the room that no-one has mentinoed in this discussion is the large number of otherwise able bodied 65 to 70 year olds claiming a benefit - superannuation when those paying for that benefit won't be eligible for it themselves. I have no issues paying super to those in their 80s with health issues but given people live longer and are healthier I see no reason to pay those capable of working a benefit.

Matt Not apolitical but the


Not apolitical but the thing that puts me off being right wing is the inhumanity of right wingers, they seem to think that they exists in a vacuum (some of them should try it)

For example no-one here has attacked "free education", which shock horror is targeted at other peoples children (if in fact you are childless) so that is a Right wingers left limit so to speak, I'll happliy fund other peoples education (possibly because it will benefit me) but attack other family friendly benefits.

So its not so much about political spectrum as much about world view, I don't see why the homeless should beg in Queen st (we pay a fair amount of tax so that this is not required) but then again I wouldn't be the one pulling the trigger on the gun to their head.


Hey I was a member

Hey I was a member of the communist party at Uni.

Now of course I care more about people so that means I'm neither right or left but Libertarian.

I'm not going to tell you how to raise your children or stop you from injecting drugs into your body or tell you who you can marry. But then don't turn around and project your problems back onto me. Janes posts are full of an angry hatred towards childless couples as some how they are the cause for all her problems.

<i>Who do the childless people

Who do the childless people think is going to pay their super when they retire?

Janette, why did you never make the assumption, the most logical one: ME. I will provide for my retirement, easily, if I were not for my lifetime subjected to State theft of my effort on a heinous scale.

Why do you think it is the responsibility of the State to provide for your retirement, not YOU?

And if your retirement, then why not every other aspect of your life? Have we become this cloying, helpless and ignoble?

OK, whilst we are talking

OK, whilst we are talking dependancy, here is a scary thought for us all..... (and I'm just bracing myself for the PC brigade - luckily few and far between here - who deride me)

Polynesians have fertility rates far higher on average than other ethnicities. And guess what Polynesians are also much more highly represented in crime, and as beneficiaries.

And crime and beneficiaires seem to be vicious cycles

So what does this mean for our future, especially in Auckland??

And before anyone labels me a Hitler, I am talking in broad, generalised terms here. Of course there are plenty of great Polynesian citizens with talent to burn. But one can't ignore the overall trends and demographics.

janetheist - super is and

janetheist - super is and will continue to remain the biggest ponzi scheme ever invented.

I'm 32 there will be NO super for me, I know this so that means I have to pay for people over 65 while I work and also save my own money to take care of myself.

Any super scheme designed as a pay as you go where say 4 workers are paying in to 1 person over 65, will always FAIL. I'm sorry but the above requires each generation to increase by 4. Their is a limit to the popultaion levels in NZ, of course the ponzi scheme ignores it. The first in make all the money the last in make nothing and pay for it all.

Mark Hubbard - you must

Mark Hubbard - you must be one of the few blinded individuals that have access to modern access to information that does not realise that the cause of this latest syncronised global recession, even JK and Bill call it that, has at its heart laiz faire financial deregulation.
And, one of the few that dont realise that our youth is our future and that the decency of current social and economic policy will shape their attitudes into the future.
If the system is akin to a caste class system, youth growing up in poverty will eventually lose all hope and the thinking there is bugger-all to lose, they will rebel.
Treat a domesticated animal decent it, generally, wont bite you, treat it like shit and it law of probabilities says it will.

Agree Matt say hello to

Agree Matt say hello to idocracy.

Takes some heading off when

Takes some heading off when posting turns into instant messaging, but please take a breather to maybe reveiw some plain languaged and visual emperical evidence relevant to what you have all been saying here

I've argued the causes of

I've argued the causes of this recession before Iain. I'm not doing it again, and regardless, there's no reasoning with a Big State social creditor, so I'm not interested in wasting my time doing so.

But for those who are interested in the real causes of the financial crisis, as explicated by the Austrians (who have been most successful in such prediction and explication, per one of Bernard's own posts), then, I would direct you to the Mises Bailout Reader - reading every article would be time well spent, and if enough do so, we might yet manage to avoid the Gulag Iain would have us all in.

And with that, it's Sunday night, I've a crap week coming up, so I'm going to enjoy a bit of TV, and glass or four of wine.

Trying to argue with Iain

Trying to argue with Iain "The I've Studied banking for the past 2 million years" is like trying to argue with a creationist over evolution.

I would live under Helen before I would ever turn things over to Iain.

Mark “I want to keep


"I want to keep what I earn", Ok here's your challenge, try "earning" all your "money" without others or as part of a society, as I stated vacuous right wing ideology where you ignore reality (or at least that which doesn't suit you)


If world war III happens,

If world war III happens, please use tax funded built robots to fight for your nations freedom rather than other peoples kids.

Mark: Its simple, any form

Mark: Its simple, any form of extremism is as bad as any other....what we have now is not extremism, we have a democracy, people have chosen a mild form of socialism, thats the choice of the people....

As part of that Ppl chose to pay tax to a Govn as opposed to a private company, the payment is still made...and there is more than enough evidence that Govns are just as efficient or in-efficient as private companies. Priavte is efficient is a myth you only have to look atthe USA health care system to see that.

Right now our democracy is being corrupted by the powerful and the rich who act just like the Leninists did almsot 100 years ago...Today, people starve due to the actions of speculators and hedge funds, thats no different to a bullet from a russian pistol 90 years ago really.


Mark Hubbard - David -

Mark Hubbard - David - proudly I have read a lot of international commerce, including all sides of economic theory and I conclude that every economic basis other than the Debt Free BASED systems have been nothing but pinchers in the bankers plan of economic domination. Any serious student wanting expand there knowledge a little further than the tunnel visioned fools might want to have a look at this, very plained languaged stuff -

"We are quite aware of the problem, it is in plain sight, it is the solution that escapes us, probably because we think the problem is so big we cannot solve it.
Now the problem is, that neither governments nor the vast majority of people have money. Maybe that sounds like an exaggeration but if we think about it some more, it is the gospel truth. Governments, whether liberal, socialist, conservative, democratic, whatever you may call them, do not have money. They are taxing us to death and yet they are making debts. And most of them are already so deeply in debt that there seems to be hardly a hope to pay off what was borrowed."

Debt Free Based Monetary System would deliver individuals more control of their own financial affairs, fairer reward for level of effort and a reduction in the interference of state in your live, because with the return of economic equal-opportunity would lead to less crime, which would lead to less need for heavy handedness.

Mark All of us have

All of us have a personal view point and that leads to BIAS which dictates how we seek selective information to prove our point of view. Extreme views usually point to very stong bias. Sometomes the answers lie within and it need some introspection.

you have made very pertinent comments which I fully agree with.

Matt in Auck, Re fertility

Matt in Auck,

Re fertility rates of polynesians. Maybe the real culprits are the lazy pakeha middle class who are too selfish to have more kids. If we had more kids it would eliminate the growing "ethnic" imbalaance and also reduce our "dependance" on asset inflating immigrants to increase the population. It would also mean our housholds have greater number of people per household than currently, thus reducing the current asset inflating phenomenon of 3, 2, and even 1 person households (exacerbated by the pakehas middle classes higher divorce rates than pacific islanders).

It would also do wonders for our ageing population.

Didnt know hwere else to

Didnt know hwere else to post this....

Worth a read....I hope its not as prophetic as it sounds.

But the deeper truth is that Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the US, and Japan are in varying states of fiscal ruin.........

Error One was to permit a bubble in the 1980s. Error Two was to wait a decade before opting for monetary "shock and awe" through quantitative easing.

So sit back and think....


Jimmy: there isnt the resources

Jimmy: there isnt the resources to increase the population at all, let alone faster....

Steven That fellow Ambrose makes

That fellow Ambrose makes Bernard look like a cheery optimist by comparison!
Pass the guy some prozac!!!!
He DOEs make some very good points however.
But hell, you have to have SOME optimism!

Poor old Ireland ey?? quite

Poor old Ireland ey?? quite incredible, its gone from being the "miracle" economy to a total wreck
Whats stopping NZ from going down the same path?
Of course, our banks are stable

Steven, Matt - you sound

Steven, Matt - you sound like eyes wide open sort of guys as opposed to eyes wide shut, can I respectfully ask if you read any of what it took me half a day to research, very relevant to your last comments, if so what did you think?

Matt: This was the first

Matt: This was the first shock caused by a hugh oil spike and quite frankly the global economy is worse than decimated as a result...Oil will go up again, so it will trigger yet another collapse.....only by not having a shortage of oil/energy can we hope to recover from this mess....but thats not an option....

There is pessimism, optimism and blind optimism...I'd like to think myself as a realist....everyone else says Im a pessimist and I depress them....As an engineer I understand the huge task of becoming energy efficient and moving to alternatives in an impossibly short time frame, so we are all going to hurt.....Im an optimist in that I think NZ will do it and retain democracy, Im not so sure about many other parts of the world.

If you think that is scary, there is a lot worse....


Actually Mark - I am

Actually Mark - I am saving money for my retirement. Because I'm not likely to get $^&$ all from the state. Being only one year older than David Cook. In the meantime it seriously %^&$es me off that I have to pay taxes to pay superannuation to 65 year olds in perfectly good health who are perfectly capable of working.

I don't mind paying taxes to support those who are elderly and infirm and can't work. I do mind paying taxes to support those who won't work because they're getting a handout from the state because they happened to be born prior to 1944. (And all those who *will* get a handout from the state because they're a large enough voting bloc to continue superannuation until they bleed the govt coffers dry.)

Mark - what will you do if you get sick and can't earn any money? And let me rephrase - who do you think will provide the labour to make a return on your retirement investments if not other people's children?

Jimmy - why is it selfish to not want to sacrifice half your income to have children? the opportunity cost of children for those people who earn enough to not be eligible for benefits or WFF is HUGE! None of those people are going ot undertake that cost simply for the good of society. They'd be better off as individuals saving for their retirement like Mark and letting other people have the children to provide the labour force to make a return on their investments. we're lucky some of those people are foolish enough to let emotion be part fo the decision to have children rather than rationality.

# grapar Says: Dear jh

# grapar Says:

Dear jh

You should have had children. NZ actually needs them. Only a loser would decry the people actualy doing the hard yards for New Zealand's future. Being a stable child-oriented person, I'm saving for my retirement and ammassing assets for my children. Childless people give me the creeps.
if ther'e anything like you (think you are) they'll be great additions to the human race (and pull wings off flies). :wink:

Have more kids? Are you

Have more kids? Are you kidding? How environmentally, and by extension economically, irresponsible is that? We have already passed the point where humans have exceeded the Earth's "limits of sustainability".

Well as an engineer myself

Well as an engineer myself steven you have no idea how many times i've been told by lay people that peak oil is not a problem i mean we can just replace our current cars with hydrogen powered fuel cell cars, like overnight right.

I also can not find one example of a civilization from history that managed a net energy decline successfully and remained in-tact.

But don't worry just to make all the kids reading feel good. The future is fine in 20 years we will be flying around in our fusion powered cars it will be real cool!!!

the arguments against population growth

the arguments against population growth have little merit on a global basis (technology ALWAYS outstrips population growth) but are plain ridiculous on a NZ basis which was what I was referring to. we should be encouraging MORE kids from our working/middle classes as an exercise in social responsibility because:

1) more well raised kids to off set the baddies
2) less need to rely on immigration
3) less reliance on 2) means more kids and less families ie we start to address the problem in NZ of underpopulated 3-4-5 bedroom homes which is largely a function of TOO MANY FAMILES WITH TOO FEW KIDS
4) a less divisive way than rampant immigration to address the ageing population
5) kids will be by and large less spoilt, an excellent thing - I am horrified at my son and his friends toy collections. I reckon the average kid now consumes 3* natural resources as one from a large family 30 years ago
6) kids become more hard nosed having to compete with siblings, this improves our competitive abilities. Solo kids are drips.
7) household incomes will have less disposable income to waste on crap from overseas - good for the environment and NZ's deficit.

So go on NZ - pop another one out for the country. Put your gay cafe lifestyle on hold for a while.

I should never have come

I should never have come back to this thread, for it depressingly displays everything that is wrong with our welfare state, including why dependency is an unsustainable one person working, supporting one who is not.

There will never be individual freedom in my lifetime; I am doomed to be forever indentured to a ruthless State.

what will you do if you get sick and can't earn any money?

I have insurance! As simple as that.

It's called thinking for yourself and living the life of a free man - amongst slaves.

You lot keep playing in the cesspit you've built for yourselves, climbing over the lives of others trying to reach for uncorrupted air, other than a watching brief, I have better things to do with my time, like, for instance, working. I'm out of here.

Iceland has decided to keep

Iceland has decided to keep its population low. I think that people who see a large population as a panacea for society haven't been to Haiti.

There is absolutely no way

There is absolutely no way out of the current predicament other than to nationalise the supply of money.

Ireland is effectively bankrupt.

New Zealand is heading down the same road.

The license to create money as debt by the banks needs to be removed and thus remove the compound interest monster that is slowly devouring everything in its wake.

NZ has borrowed its entire GDP over the last 20 years. The interest on that debt never sleeps.

New interest free credit can be introduced in 2 ways:

- Through a Universal Basic Income (to replace the entire welfare state and superannuation).

- Through direct government spending. Why borrow it and pay interest when you can create it for nothing.

- Money supply targets will be set unlike the current situation where we have had double digit growth causing major asset price inflation.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to throw out the defunct banking system, throw out the welfare state and implement controls for government spending and the growth of the money supply.

We will end up with smaller and cheaper government, a more productive economy and a less dependent population.

If we don't make the changes now then it could be a very messy descent into financial penury.

"in NZ we have the

"in NZ we have the DPB, a benefit that you can get, with NO requirement that you need to even look for a job until your child turns 18 !!!, thats right, you can collect a benefit care of the taxpayer for 18 years for no other reason that you have a kid but no partner !!!
And depending on how many kids you have and your accommodation costs etc, the DPB can range from $500 to $900 + per week IN THE HAND, whats the incentive for them to ever get a job when they would have to make at least $50k to $65k just to make the same after tax?

In NZ you now have the situation where a girl can get knocked up the duff and have a kid at 16, go on the EMA until she turns 18 and then onto the DPB.
She can then sit back and collect every week DPB, Accommodation Supplement, Family Tax Credit for however many rug rats you have and you can always get Child Disability Allowance if your child has almost any medical condition, TAS for other costs, Disability allowance for any "disability related expenses" for yourself and dont forget to bludge of the taxpayers for your education as well. Thats right, unlike all other students who need a student loan, if your on the DPB you can get Training Incentive Allowance, and this does NOT have to be paid back.
So if a woman wants a free Uni education, she and her partner just need to be "separated", even if he is "boarding" as a "friend or flatmate only" in her house.

After a few years she can pump out a few more rug rats and its another 18 years until she needs to worry about getting a job. Of course by then she can say how "depressed" she is and go on the Sickness benefit before transferring to the Invalids Benefit and then she can retire on New Zealand Super having never paid any tax in her life."

Go for it Raff -

Go for it Raff - I agree there is no other way out of the mess. The banking system and welfare state have been exposed for what they are - a perfect synergism of dependency & fraud. The big question is - can you get the population off their habit long enough to comprehend the dismal truth. And if you did would they act on it. Only 1 in 4 addicts are ever strong enough to transform their lives - the irony being, self destruction appears less personally troublesome. Addicts are above all - completely selfish, they like others to carry their pain because they can't tolerate the responsibility. So good luck with your mission.

I was a believer in

I was a believer in the welfare state but now I'm having my doubts; you never get a sense of truthfulness from the govt (thinking of labour in this case) in that they seemed to massage figures eg putting unemployed on sickness benefits and then their is the moral hazard of providing an incentive to make beneficiarism a lifelong career. As I Green pointed out.

"what will you do if

"what will you do if you get sick and can't earn any money? I have insurance! As simple as that."

and how long does that last? maybe 6 months....if you cant work ever again then at least the state will pay a basic amount for the rest of your life....

Jimmy: "the arguments against population growth have little merit on a global basis (technology ALWAYS outstrips population growth)" Then quite frankly you are stupid....what allowed the industrial revolution (technology) was access to cheap and abundant energy if the form of coal and then 50 years later crude oil. At that point the net available energy per person expanded greatly, since since there was more energy available, net less was used/needed to survive, so more people survived, and then bred. Technology has allowed population growth because technology exploits energy, it gives a net benefit, its not technology that allows this but energy. Once you have less energy more and more technology is put into
using energy and indeed supporting or improving technology, so eventually there is less net energy for survival, population will decline. Eventually technology could actually regress as there isnt sufficient energy left to support that point, if it ever happens we are finished, because we have already exhausted the easier to get with more basic technology minerals, food and would be like falling off a cliff......

"but are plain ridiculous on a NZ basis which was what I was referring to." your faulty model of the future is based on an ever increasing energy output, that is not achievable, in fact we are going to get less....NZ might be lucky and with its 4 million have the capability to produce enough food without energy (fertilizers and fuel to harvest/ship it) to feed that 4 million...

Its quite simple we live on a finite planet you cant have an infinite population. Circa 2008 was the peak of our civiliasation. If you want ppl to spend less on fancy goods, well you will get your wish, we will be spending every penny to transition to alternative energy and keep ourselves feed, quite simply we have to learn to get by on about 30% of the energy available per person we use today...If you want an idea of that lifestyle go find a developing country that uses 1/3rd our energy and look at that.....a first class example is probably cuba....and thats not a happy thought.

Mark: If you dont want to be a slave of the State, can only enjoy your individualistic life style because effectively you live within the State.


"childless people give me the

"childless people give me the creeps"

The reason some people don't have kids is that their childhoods stunk and so they are appalled and perplexed at the casual way some people bang them out.

The average farm in China

The average farm in China is .9ha and it is only urea (made from natural gas) that has made that possible. Also an enormous number of people depend on melting glaciers in the Himalayas during the dry season but they are in retreat.

Dinky - I relate to

Dinky - I relate to what you're saying there. Some of my friends with kids are constantly having "meltdowns" and don't seem to cope too well at all with the pressures of parenting - but they didn't think about that before they "banged out" 2-3 kids. I watch from the sidelines, horrified at times, and it puts me off having kids of my own. I totally get that it's hard work, and I'm sure it's as rewarding as it is tough, but I don't want to go through what I see them go through, not prepared to risk it. I look around me and can almost tell which of my friend's kids will be problematic adults and which won't, but not one of my friends said before they had kids "hey, I'm going to raise bad kids" - they all wanted the best for them, it's just that somewhere along the way it all got too hard to be consistent in the discipline.

Neven said: "The Cicero quotaion

Neven said: "The Cicero quotaion is a fraud, the source quote is "The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign hands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall.", its nothing to do with welfare, and in fact he was wrong, Rome as an Empire exploited foreign lands"

Neven, there will always be debate over the exactness of ancient historical quotations and to whom they can be attributed. I am well aware there is debate over the Cicero quotation I used. Yet, what cannot be avoided, is that Ancient Rome travelled the path on which the western world now finds itself - excessive spending and monetary debasement. Why do you think the Emperor Diocletian (after the fall of Cicreo's beloved Republic and several centuries of fiscal stupidity) was forced to issue his "Edictum De Pretiis Rerum Venalium" (Edict on Prices and Incomes). Wasn't this futile act required because the grotesque monetary debasement - necessary to finance Rome as a parasite state - was leading to horrific increases in prices. Put simply, Rome refused to live within its means - sound familiar? I seem to remember Edward Heath attempting something similar in 1970s Britain!

The socialist dislikes the example of Ancient Rome, because it exposes his ideas as nothing new. Moreover, of course the Roman Empire "exploited foreign lands" - effectively offering its new citizens 'protection' in return for the payment of tribute (taxes). This is the ultimate basis on which socialism operates - taxes and transfers of wealth are effected, not on the basis of willing exchange or donation, but on the basis of violence inferred or delivered. Look what happened when the Iceni King, Prasutagus, wanted to leave half his worldly goods to Queen Boudicca and her daughters - the bloodiest episode in the history of Britain's Islands! Why, because under Rome's socialist system he had committed the ultimate affront - believing that his property might actually be his. Generously he offered then half - not enough! Socialism is the corporatizing of violence, in which the ignorant are assuaged with confiscated spoils whilst a narrow elite is fabulously enriched.

I will offer you another quote - this one from Winston Churchill: "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery".

Les: not work harder, smarter,

Les: not work harder, smarter, Kiwi's already work some of the longest hours, yet we are told that our productivity lags....Something i dont understand....Kiwi's overseas are well thought of as we are good this just does not add up cant have a bad worker here and ship him/her overseas and find he/she is suddenly A1....

Now an interesting point for me is a lot of productivity per capita is based on GDP. Other OECD countries have a higher productivity, but do they? For the UK a lot of GDP (20~22%?) was based on the income from the financial sector which was obviously one huge ponzie scheme, which in turn suggests others productivity improvements may actually have been illusional or maybe delusional....and after the recent recession, that 20% of UK GDP is now (so they say) I'd like to see some paper's / info examinig how productivity is worked out and what effect the above has / will have on it. I would really like to read up on this as I suspect we have been hoodwinked...but I dont know enough....


Guys The difference between Ireland


The difference between Ireland and NZ is the huge Irish soveriegn debt, 100pc+ of GDP, if gdp falls it will rocket up, what is NZ? less than 20%? Soveriegn debt basically must be repaid, hence the irish will be enslaved for years, at this point the pitchforks should come out and the politicos given a head start.

Malcom, The Roman Empire did what all Empires subsequently have done, Rise, Peak and Fall, as they require continuous growth to be sustained. We are just watching the fall of the US (to be replaced by the Chinese?) as the US rose (to replace the Britsh)

This Andrew J Bacevich on the topic


Iain Parker: What you have

Iain Parker: What you have posted echo's Paul Krugman, and indeed my concerns....the very rich act globally, they are not constrained by National borders, so effectively dont pay much tax, and to be honest my opinion is they are not productive but parasitic....So when the right say tax them less because they will be more productive, or go offshore well that's a bad joke....they probably contribute nothing and indeed leech....sending them offshore may well be a net benefit tax them at 90%, their effective tax will probably only be 20% anyway....and if they leave? well they will find that other countries will also start to tax them....

An interesting project I read about; the idea was the ultra-rich would buy into a luxury liner and live and "work" from there, as it cruised around the world...they would never be in one country so would never ever pay any tax....but now think beyond that.....not so much the not paying tax bit, but the fact that they would have to go to such a length not to not pay not be based in ANY country but on a depreciating asset....hence I wonder just how practical the rich would find it to leave NZ....

Now this is different to real business ppl who I think for the risk they take on their capital do indeed (often) not profit somehow we need to heavily tax the parasites while making life for the truly industrious profitable and make it worthwhile for ppl to work and get off welfare dependancy. It maybe that we need to start a super-tax bracket, say above $200,000 per annum have a 90% tax rate, raise the minimum wage to (say) $15 or $16 an hour...I dont know, but I think things have to change....


Steven - "Les: not work

Steven - "Les: not work harder, smarter, Kiwi's already work some of the longest hours,...." I agree, I can't see how you interpreted that I thought otherwise, see preamble to "..more time for couples to be couples and parents to be parents...."

Also you said, "yet we are told that our productivity lags"¦.Something i dont understand"¦." Do the broad flat tax thing and what's advocated here:

That is, tax credits for 'winning behaviour' of, investment in people*, product development, (ie R&D), patents, process and plant (faster depreciation). *Leadership education focusing on market "˜pulled' product/service development.

= 'whole system/economy' productivity improvement - by a country mile....

Mark - I'm sure I read in this thread that in your Libertarian society that taxes are voluntary? If I've mis-read or got that wrong please ignore, otherwise can you elaborate on the workings of that idea please?

Thanks, Les.

PS - go Iain, go Raf.

Great thread, chaps and chapesses.

Great thread, chaps and chapesses. Scary ratios, I did suggest precisely this one as a national KPI in one of Neville B's pieces, but I think I'm sorry now.

To take up a perhaps neglected point in all of the above. A great danger, now much under discussion in the US, is that expensive schemes such as ObamaCare are to be funded by the usual suspects - rich pricks and allegedly wealthy individuals.

However, this runs into two problems. As the phrase goes, the incomes of the rich are fungible, mobile and volatile. The purpose of any tax arrangement is to extract the most feathers from the goose, with the least hissing.

But what if the geese just up and fly away? This leaves the rest with the Norman Mcrae population profile - highly taxed dummies who keep voting themselves OPM. Link is

And the second problem is a guy named John Galt. It is incredibly easy for many types of income earners, to adjust things so that incomes equal expenses, net taxable equals zero, and to thus crunch tax receipts. For a working example, see here, where the US tax receipts are -30%. Link is here:

Think: consultants, tradies, any profession you care to name, and so on. These guys can just go Galt tomorrow, by having a golf weekday (no billings), by attending a couple more conferences (costs up, billings down), by winding back appointments (billings down), by doing some 'training' (costs up, billings down).

What cannot be sustained, won't be. For tax-eaters, the signal is flashing red.....

In great contrast to the US, where the rapid expansion of tax consumption seems to be certain, at least we have a crew who are talking about the pachyderm in the parlour, even if it is in terms that go right over the heads of most of the population....

While the debate about where

While the debate about where we are headed viz a viz the "welfare state" has obviously generated some mild hysteria, I note with dismay people seem to always end up arguing cases and citing incidents rather than looking at the root cause and the motive that facilitated that" root cause" to come into effect.
It is quite simply Power, and the desire to share, impart ,impose, or inflict an ideology upon the masses by any means. In a democracy we assume these to be by fair and just means, although to usurp power in the way we historically have built our democracy suggests anything but fair and just.
And so the left, right ,center, all pander to a statistic and nothing more really, in order to hold on to ,or to obtain power. For self advantage? Inevitably, probably some in the short term some in the long haul once the demographics have kicked some of the ideological shit out of them.
That is why "most" people think Politicians lie, and yet still vote for them,
Because they( the voter ) actually expect them to!
In order to address the growing welfare problems we as a nation are faced with, the vote pandering would have to stop, and I can't see that anytime soon particularly with MMP.
So the answer can and must be found through a surge in likeminded people to form a power block to curry the favor of the sitting Govt.
Case, have you ever noticed how actively loud and motivated some of the minor parties are?
Are you ever irritated that these bastards can actually influence your future?

There is one other thing you should always be aware of in the voter statistics. That huge part of the pie that relies on "YOUR APATHY" yes banks on it!
So if you want reforms in the welfare state, what are YOU gonna do about it?
At the water cooler start with a simple concept.
That you find our current welfare system to be an affront to the average citizen.
Desire an overhaul that is " acceptable" to the average citizen who is currently encumbered by that system.
If you can agree on just that, it is possible to connect quickly with people and lobby for real change.
WHY are we, the largest piece of the voter pie the most disgruntled? because "we" are apathetic!!
Your choice. A line in the sand ?

Les: "Do the broad flat

Les: "Do the broad flat tax thing" I see nothing to advocate this as a solution, all that does is tax the poorer heavier and the rich significantly less....This is the problem with extremists, they latch on to a faulty ideal and cant see past it. ie Just as some poor choose to live on the welfare and are leeches same same for the rich...ACT etc is less than 4% of the population, ergo 96%+ dont want such a system.

"Mark - I'm sure I read in this thread that in your Libertarian society that taxes are voluntary?"

Tax for prisons by his own words, is not...."libertarians" also seem to be a bit split on what is compulsory and what is not, some say the police, courts, prisons and military should be compulsory....all that is really is a method to sharing the cost for protecting individuals property onto others that dont have property, that is manifestly unfair....yet here we have about 1000 ppl who decide thats fair....yeah right. For myself I'd rather spend it on health care, but that's not OK by them....hence I have no time for them, their thinking is faulty at best loony at worst....On the other hand anarchy I do have time for....if you truly want a free society then there should be no costs imposed by anyone on anyone....which effectively is of course pre-civilisation....Instaed people decided that they would accept paying taxes as part of a society/collective as that gave them better odds for return they got stability and progression....Within anarchy then people should or could group together, form their own society say socialist and support it via tax....Those that didnt want this could step outside into the anarchy pool and form their own grouping/society....To do this however the anarchy pool would have to be infinite...the only way to do this would be to believe in Sci-Fi and that we would have faster than light travel and like the American Pilgrims the Libertanz could bugger off and get their own planet....


anarchy: the ineffectual rantings and

anarchy: the ineffectual rantings and or activities of those dissidents already resigned to defeat, but who choose to fight mock battles in order to avoid martyrdom. Lazy bastards to a man.

steven - "Les: “Do the

steven - "Les: "Do the broad flat tax thing" I see nothing to advocate this as a solution, all that does is tax the poorer heavier and the rich significantly less" Please see:

and Bernard's "˜What I think' section; the suggestion of flat approx. 23% = revenue neutral = no loss of present levels of welfare. Would the poor really be worse off, and would and the rich (asset holders?) be better off - if the tax structure is balanced?

As for my question to Mark H - why not let Mark speak for himself. I find Mark's expressions interesting, but I'm asking that question to see if Libertarianism is grounded in reality, or a 'wet dream' as some have commented here. However, thanks for your thoughts too, cheers, Les.

Steven, "Then quite frankly you


"Then quite frankly you are stupid"¦.what allowed the industrial revolution (technology) was access to cheap and abundant energy if the form of coal and then 50 years later crude oil. At that point the net available energy per person expanded greatly, since since there was more energy available, net less was used/needed to survive, so more people survived, and then bred. Technology has allowed population growth because technology exploits energy,"

You are assuming many things here:

1) Technology can not be exploited to use our energy more efficiently (eg electric cars, GM food - huge potential here)
2) People cant cut back on their ridiculous consumption. You use the third world as a comparison, WHY?? How about 1970s NZ. I grew up in a large family of 8 and I know as a fact that our toys accumulated over 20 years would not amount to 20% of what my 3 year old son has amassed in his short lifetime. Discretionary spend from 2 income 1-2 child housholds has an ENORMOUS impact on the environment.
3) Other energy resources can not be exploted. We have barely touched the surface with nuclear energy, solar power, wind and wave power.
4) If we reach "peak oiL then people will be forced to change their habits, this does not necessarily mean armegeddon. If oil prices rise 10 fold then most will get public transport and drive hybrid cars. We will congregate closer in cities, have less holidays overseas or a long drive away. Its not the end of the world.

"We will congregate closer ...have

"We will congregate closer ...have less holidays overseas ......... Its not the end of the world."
The trouble is , for the NZ economy, that is excatly where it is.

Actually you blokes, hybrids and

Actually you blokes, hybrids and all electrics (AE) will dominate the market by 2020.
The 'penny' dropped on a few heads sometime back. There is a whole new industry being born in front of you and you cannot see it. The same thing happened with computers when some fool predicted a demand for just 5 personal computers. Time to stop living in the past. The demand for petrol as a fuel will die out and the price rise, speeding up the change. Take a look see at the zero investment in the refining industry! Diesel has longer legs due to the trucking demand, shipping and rail.

"And Libertarians are from neither

"And Libertarians are from neither the Right nor the Left of the political spectrum."

No, I guess you can say that they are from the anarchy end of the spectrum and that just about says it all....just as big brother Govn, extreme left or right are just as inhumane and wrong, so are libertanz. Its arch-typical extremism with no tolerance of others or other points of view.

Jimmy: Maybe I should have used ignorant....and not stupid, sorry for that, but as an engineer it drives me potty that ppl assume us engineers and scientists will fix their excesses.....

1) Technology can indeed be exploited to use our energy more efficiently, however its a) diminishng returns, b) the improvements are and have so far been cancelled by more people.

Electric cars: taking into account the existing car stock and lack of affordable electric cars today at affordable (second hand) prices and their shorter useful life, its a considerable stretch to think electric cars will be a huge impact in the near term ie <5 years.

GM, GM food assumes energy and lots of it and cheap at that. It also assumes cheap energy to transport it to where its needed. GM food is often grown to rely on specific chemicals, fertilizers and sprays from specific vendors, the 3rd world cant afford that bill...hence starvation is becoming the norm. Add in the GM crops are often expensive in terms of seed and are crippled so the new crops seed cannot be re-used....the on-going costs are quite frankly un-sustainable or affordable by most of the world.

2) Look at energy consumption, by all means compare NZ living std in the 1970s v today v the 3rd world....the effect is similar, we will have to get by on about 30% of the energy we use per capita before your children get to Uni. There is certainly huge waste in the use of plastic, but in the 1970s cars and other plant were grossly in-efficient, so its a bit of swings and roundabouts....The advantage of looking at the 3rd world today v NZ in the 1970s is the effect of modern technologies today.

3) Other energy sources.....what you are missing here is time and the scale of oil use....most refineries were built post build a refinery takes 5~10 years and assumes we have a ready raw resource (in this case crude oil). Alternatives will need a new raw source and need to be built that will take 15~20 odd years to scale up sufficiently to meet crude oil supply depetion that could be 5% per annum and started a year ago. In the mean time we are set for a huge energy shortage in as little as 2. Wind power fluctuates significantly and you have to have standby plant to allow for still days....even if you distribute wind all over NZ there is still going to be issues...Personally I like the look of tide better as that is pretty much guaranteed...though cyclic, but its regular.

4) Its not if we reach peak oil, its when. Almost certainly we have past sometime between 2005 and July 2008. "this does not necessarily mean armegeddon." that is correct, take the (sensible) worst scenario and consider its risk coming to pass and that impact, at that point you can then plan and execute to make sure it will not happen. In effect its an insurance policy, to look after your children you take out an insurance policy in case you get run over....the risk of it happening is small, but you decide to (or not) cover it. "Its not the end of the world." Consider that in June/July 2008 Pakistan was on the verge of bankruptcy, its couldnt afford to import oil at the spot price ($147US) so Saudi was pretty much giving it to them...Pakistan has nuclear weapons.....ditto India....if the Pakistan Govn had collapsed, what would or could have happened to those nuclear weapons? Saudi saw the danger and attempted to mitigate it by giving cheap oil....someone saw the problem and acted to make sure it was no longer a problem. The issue I have right now is no one is acting on peak oil and its a 10~20 year problem, NZ with its small population is almost intriniscally safe from major politcial upheavel as we have enough food and enough (hopefully) distance to avoid the worst possibilities. Dont let ignorance of this issue cloud your judgement, do your research, its taken me a lot of hours over the last two years trying to prove peak oil and its possible/probable consequences are wrong, I have not been able to.

B.B.Bear: but that might save us, we are not so over-populated that we cannot feed ourselves, unlike Japan that only produces 36% of its food.

Wally: by 2020? URL? its more likely that yes it will be a decent %, its more likely that its a fairly small %..To dominate the car market it will mean that the the market/use of cars has collapsed so much that there will be a lot of petrol powered iron sitting outside houses, rusting....worthless. "A new industry" I can see it, but its taking time...what you are failing to see is the time to get can accelerate a project but the cost to do so becomes higher and higher for less and less gain, at some point no matter how much money you throw at it it goes no faster. Bear in mind that money isnt un-limited I couldnt afford a new petrol car at $25k let alone an all electric at $35k or even $50k....its just out of my price range so its, public transport, walk or bike. The entire car industry is based/priced on selling volume, so that mass produced price of an electric at $50k is assuming the same number of units as the present petrol price cost at $25k is sold...aint going to happen is it?


Oh deary me! any ideas

Oh deary me! any ideas how we can capitalise on our descent into the pit ?

Bernard, in the interests of

Bernard, in the interests of the productivity debate could you do a poll on how many bloggers on are in full time employment.Seems to be a lot of wasted time here...

Steven, the best part about

Steven, the best part about AE will be the built in sensor set to zap the thief. Unfortunately it will come with 'big brother' controls set to turn the power off as you pass Mr Plod because you haven't paid enough money to the govt for driving on 'their' roads. Order one now and beat the rush!

Wally but where is the

Wally but where is the thief going to charge it? second he plugs it into the mains it "phones" home...finds its nicked and locks him out and transmits his picture....probably does a dna check as well.

Hey steven, can we own

Hey steven, can we own these great ideas?

Wally: To late iphones and

Wally: To late iphones and macs already do it.

Jane , Those 65 +

Jane , Those 65 + have had there best years working harder than you because they had the work ethic instilled in them and were more concientous than later generations. They worked 8 hr days and came home to carry bricks bringing up a family without the luxuries of the modern age. So instead of sitting in front of a computer time was spent defrosting the fridge, mending, sewing, tending the vege garden etc, etc. You come across as bitter and vindictive because you have it so hard(not nearly as hard as they had it) therefore pick on the oldies because self serving politicans have swandered your future super. See how fit and well you feel at 65 with arthritis and worn out joints, those people did more physical labour than you will ever do. Do you have parents or grandparents or have they disowned you?

Nice blog. I got a

Nice blog. I got a lot of effective data. I've been watching this technology for awhile. It's fascinating how it keeps changing, yet some of the core factors remain the same. Have you seen much change since Google made their most recent acquisition in the arena?