Alex's politico-economic blogroll: Fran jumps Bernard's nationalism shark; Reaction to Labour's youth jobs policy (back to the 1980s); Milk price calculator; Best goal ever

Alex's politico-economic blogroll: Fran jumps Bernard's nationalism shark; Reaction to Labour's youth jobs policy (back to the 1980s); Milk price calculator; Best goal ever

Here's my blogroll or the week. Have a good weekend all.

Hopefully a bit of sunshine.

I'm off to a dairy farm in the mighty Wairarapa (lots of cute calves at the mo - bit of a softie, me) for a bit of R&R before the pollies come back to Parliament next week after recess.

1. Fran O'Sullivan jumps Bernard Hickey's shark. Peter Cresswell at Not PC has a great headline about O'Sullivan's piece calling on the government to act on the Christchurch situation.

Peter is a libertarian, so is not too fond of policies that involve state intervention.

Fran has a plan. It’s not very complicated, or even very well thought out. Specifically, Fran demands the government:

  • nationalise all the private land on the outskirts of Christchurch (i.e,, completing the job CERA have already largely done in the CBD);
  • build houses on it (because the government does this so well); and
  • raid the pocketbooks of everyone in the country able to afford a Rugby World Cup ticket to pay for it.

Simple as that. A plan that every barber, every taxi driver--every blowhard and Bernard Hickey in the country--could agree with and call their own.

And for those of you not too clued up on shark jumping:

2. Labour's youth jobs/skills policy seems like a good idea. Matt Nolan at TVHE likes the policy Labour announced yesterday that included the option of taking an under-20's dole payment and giving it to an employer as a subsidy for taking that person on as an apprentice (where the person would be paid an apprentices' wage - twice what they'd get on the dole).

I’ve long stated that tax, benefit, and training policies should be more highly integrated, and I see this as a step in the right direction.

I am surprised to see National’s reaction.  For one, they suggested a similar thing prior to last election.  Also, they seem to be going on that Labour keeps announcing this and never doing it – but if this is good policy (something National hasn’t disputed) then why does their policy differ?  If its good its good – criticise policy on its merits right.

3. But David Farrar says Labour has given the same promises before. They may have said the same things David, but were they the same policies?

Now does this sound familiar? Let’s go back seven years:

A $56.9 million package of new and expanded initiatives in Budget 2004 will cement in the government’s commitment to provide all 15 to 19 year olds with a kick start to their working lives. …

In October 2002 we also signed a formal memorandum with the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs adopting the formal goal that by 2007, all 15-19 year olds will be engaged in appropriate education, training, work or other options which will lead to long term economic independence and well-being.

And back a further year to 2003:

Budget 2003 contains a comprehensive package of initiatives to ensure all 15 to 19 year olds are involved in education, training or work or other options by 2007, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today.

So Labour announced in 2003 the same goal and policies, and declared by 2007 they would have worked.

But hey this policy is even older than that. Go back to 2002:

Government plans to ensure all 15 to 19 year olds are in education, training or work by 2006 could save taxpayers more than $1 billion, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.

So the goal was 2006, then 2007 and now it is 2014. This is like Lucy v Charlie Brown.

But it gets even better. Let us go back to 2000:

No young person will leave school without options in education, training or employment within three years, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.

So in fact they promised they would achieve this by 2003!!

4. So what to do about the hike in quake costs? Idiot Savant at No Right Turn thinks Labour is in a position to seize the initiative over paying for the Christchurch quake costs, which more than doubled for EQC earlier this week.

As the Dim-Post pointed out yesterday, the options are basically tax-increases or more austerity (or a ratings downgrade, leading to the same). National's previous policy was austerity, using the earthquake as an excuse to pursue their nakedly ideological programme of shrinking the state. But they've gone about as far as they can go with that; any further and their spin that they're just cutting fat and that actual service delivery will not be affected will be unsustainable. Its hard to claim you're "protecting the frontline" when people are seeing their schoolteachers go on strike, their local hospital is being closed down, and you can't find a police officer because their numbers have been cut. And that's without even considering the macroeconomic effects of austerity prolonging the recession. If National stays true to form, the result, for all of us, will be very, very unpleasant. Sadly, that's probably not going to stop them.

The alternative, of course, is tax increases - either a special-purpose earthquake levy, or a rise in general taxation. Its the best-solution, one which avoids austerity-induced recessions, and which spreads the burden according to ability to pay rather than whether you live in an electorate which voted for the government or not (because lets be honest: the government is not going to cut services to its own voters if it can help it). Even uber-right winger Fran O'Sullivan can see that; the question is whether the government can

.5. And some good fun from The Standard:

6. Imperator Fish likes Labour's idea, but people just like John Key better, so will Labour get any traction?

The idea of using money otherwise spent on the dole to subsidise employment is a pretty simple one.

It certainly beats National's genius plan to get youth working again by taking their booze and baccy off them.

That's not really a plan at all, unless the focus is on punishing rather than helping.

I predict that Labour's policy will be well-received, even if it doesn't push the emotional buttons like National's "punish the young" policy, which was designed not to address the problem of unemployment, but to appeal to older voters.

7. And Lindsay Mitchell tags it as Labour's very old new policy. She links to a newspaper article from the days of Bill Rowling in the early 1980s.

8. On-line milk price calculator. Homepaddock links to a milk-price calculator set up to try and show where each component of the retail milk price comes from. Very interesting.

The price of milk and Fonterra’s role in setting it is the subject of on-going debate and will now be investigated by a Select Committee.

The ValueAdd Company has done a lot of the work for them and has beaten them to the unbundling.

They’ve used the information they’ve found to provide  an on-line calculator which shows the cost components of milk production.

The calculations, which are based on some guesstimates, show the retail price includes mark-ups of 12% by Fonterra, 15% by wholesalers and 30% by retailers.

In a media release the company explains its calculations and concludes:

We built up other information from the referenced sources and our calculations came to the somewhat surprising conclusion that for the year ended 30 June 2011, a forecast payment to suppliers for milk of $8.00 per kg of milk solids (not yet finalised) would be $2.73 or 51.7% greater than the figure required to produce a break-even net margin on exported commodity products.

9. Speaking Kiwi at the World Cup. HT Peter Aranyi.

10. What a goal. Check this one out. Shocker from the keeper though. Have a good weekend all.

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#4. Or remove WFF (effectively a tax increase).  Broaden the tax base, ie CGT or similar allowing a reduction in the various progressive tax rates but increasing the tax take on other income not taxed.  Peter Dunne has an income sharing bill in parliament for the benefit of couples with children so another good reason for removing WFF.  The taxpayer needs to live within their means as well rather than expecting handouts from the govt.

Frontline public services should not be affected if all the fat was properly removed (Gerry Brownlee, policy analysts and various other "waffle" producers, incompetent departments like Treasury, reduce MP's pay and cut extra benefits).

#10...Goal of the season and it was only March!

golazo de marco fabian vs barcelona 2011

......Damn Youtube links!!

 "I’ve long stated that tax, benefit, and training policies should be more highly integrated, and I see this as a step in the right direction.".....

It's a step into a big stinking pile of debt.

Labour haven't the guts to come out with policies that will slash the size and cost of the state..leading to a steady reduction in taxes...which will increase real disposable income and savings and investment that will create a demand for labour.

They believe the best way forward is to take more money from those who saved and who earn more..along with a lot more borrowed offshore....and to hand this money out to hide the unemployment...which will increase because there is too little saved and too little left after tax to be spent to create employment....and round we bloody go again...

Goofy and cunny have convinced each other that their version of Keynesian madness will work....go figure.

Meanwhile National are just starting to wake up to the FACT that the world has changed...the old BS and spin won't cut the Mustard any more...that what they have been told by the pointy heads is so much sh__. But no matter cos they are off down the debasement road like all the previous idiot govts in NZ. This year your dollar fell in spending value by 5% plus. Bollard has orders to make dam sure it drops another 3% plus next year. Ten years and your savings will have crashed in value by well over 30%. John Key said long ago that inflation would solve the debt problems over time...oh yes he did. I calls it theft.

Labour across the ditch seem to be struck by the same affliction as Labour this side!

"Labor was at first so shell-shocked by the High Court disaster, so stunned by the king-hit to its already pummelled credibility, they couldn't even spin it. The masters of spin were spun out.

Senior figures who have for weeks been stoically reciting that they were ''working through the issues'' and ''rebuilding the electorate's trust through delivery'' and ''seeing through the tough times'' couldn't find a slogan to explain away the debris of their policy or the state of the government. Most of what they did say can't be printed, but the recurring theme was disbelief that everything they touched turned to''shit''.

What you have omitted is the underlying issue .. people smuggling .. it's huge .. strangely the NZ media is quiet .. it's the boat people, assylum seekers, refugees, immigrants. While it's a problem for both sides of the political divide, the socialist left labor is softer, more socially forgiving, and it's getting out of control. 20,000 a year coming in illegally. It costs $15,000 per person to get on a boat in Indonesia. Nearly 50% of the assylum-seeking boat-people now arriving are un-accompanied children under the age of 15 .. no identification .. no papers .. what we are not told is where a 10 yo gets $15000 from. 

It is a very interesting issue - awful but a sign of the times - a signal of the effects of widening inequality on a global scale.

I don't know if anyone watched this new program on UK motorway police?  I was aghast that the new policy for dealing with illegal immigrants is to not deal with them, but instead to send them on their way with an address of the immigration agency which they should report their arrival to.  Seems unbelievable, but the UK looks to have given up on trying to contain this illegal drift of foreign nationals into their country - and as has been the case with Mexicans in the US - these immigrants work for cash, thus denying UK citizens legitimate jobs (not to mention the tax effects of so much cash work going on).


Just averaged the 12 month term dep of over $5K at the main banks..4.28%...isn't that great...inflation is running at better than 5%...ok so you probably pay 1% of the earnings in tax....and therefore your $5000 has become about $5160...which has been debased by 5%...about $ you like them apples folks....

Few people will 'win' out of fixing the global, or NZ, economy - and many will lose a/the lot. The trick is to pick 'that which will cost you the least'.

And..."We have not managed to export more than we've imported in any year since 1973.We now find our net indebtedness to other countries is some 90 percent of GDP.Although most of that debt is owed by the private sector, not the government, in total that level of net indebtedness is comparable to that of Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain..." Something that most of us here know, but not many 'others' have a clue. !  I listen to Don Brash with interest.....

Old BH having a poke....

 ".... and central banks cut cash rates to near 0 per cent in vain attempts to fire up economic growth and to keep banks on life support...."

Meanwhile the beast is gathering strength and up over 5% this year..just the sort of thing to encourage people to save...not!