Everything you’ve always wanted to know about ACC . . .


Rob Hosking gives the answers  to the questions we might be asking, including:

So isn’t there a wider political agenda behind this?

Look at the wider political strategy being run by both the main parties. The “narrative” Labour has been running since the mid-1990s is National is the party that takes things away from you, Labour is the party that gives you things. A cornerstone of the current government’s political strategy is to eradicate the idea that National governments take things away from people. The $2.6 billion hole in ACC forces National back into the role of being nasties.

So was National set up?

Unclear. But this is either culpable negligence or sabotage. Take your pick.

I pick both.

Political relationships


Funny how the story of Swazi losing a Defence Department contract broke on the eve of the Jobs Summit, or was it?

Roarprawn drew the dots between Sawzi’s owner Davey Hughes and Labour MP Darren Hughes and this week’s Trans Tasman confirms that Davey is Darren’s uncle.

Of course this could be a coincidence.

New Assoc Minister needs to look out for landmine


Kate Wilkinson has been appointed Associate Conservation Minsiter.

This move recognises that the Minister, Tim Groser, is out of New Zealand a lot because of the demands of his role as Trade Minister.

One of the new Associate Minsiter’s urgent tasks will be investigating one of the land mines left by Labour which has yet to explode – the costs of looking after high country land surrendered under tenure review or bought outright which is now part of the DOC estate.

Silver lining to drop in vehicle sales?


New car sales  were 28% lower in February than they had been the previous month and 38.5% lower than in February last year.

Sales for most makes of cars in the USA  dropped 40% or more last month. The exceptions were Kia, Hyundai and Subaru which had modest growth in sales that’s attributed to:

 A combination of new models, attractive incentives and sales people who are better with the pitch than the next guy are probably all contributing to how well these brands are weathering the U.S. recession.

In Europe  Volvo truck sales  dropped from  41,970 trucks in the third quarter of 2007 to only 115 in the same period last year.

Is there a silver lining to this?

Frenemy asks what affect declining sales will have on fuel consumption? A decrease in the size of the vehicle fleet or its rate of growth probably means a decline in, or slower growth of, demand for fuel too – unless the increase in the distance travelled by each vehicle increases markedly.

There might also be more work for mechanics keeping older vehicles on the road because people are holding on to them for longer.

However, that will be cold comfort for the people whose jobs making and selling new trucks and cars are under threat.

Saving makes more cents than spending


Spending our way out of a recession is a theory most farmers have difficulty getting our heads round.

Those of us who survived the ag-sag of the 80s are haunted by memories of interest rates going above 20% and have no intention of jeopardising our businesses and the jobs of our staff  by spending any more than we have to.

We are mindful that when we stop spending the impact is felt beyond the farm gate. The money from the dairy boom flowed into towns and now the white gold rush is over, the people who service and supply us are losing business.

The ODT reports  that Humes in Alexandra have made 15 staff redundant because of a fall in demand for the water troughs and cattle underpasses they make.

That’s a lot of jobs in a small business in a small town but none of the dairy farmers I’ve spoken to are in the mood for the sort of expansion which would generate the demand to provide work for those people.

When money is tight saving makes more cents – and sense – than spending.

So much easier with other people’s money


Why is it so much easier to spend other people’s moeny?

I asked if there was an economic explanation for this in response to a post at Anti-Dismal and got these answers:

From Mark Hubbard:

. . . because ‘you’ don’t work for other people’s money, thus, it has no real value according to ‘your’ own terms of reference 🙂

On the political level, because they’re so used to this big pot of money they can use for their own whim, and State theft is simply taken for granted by them as of right. If this recession/depression has one good result, it will be to utterly starve the bureaucracies of my money.

Unfortunately, what will actually come to pass is Hayek’s Serfdom principle, and ironically out of all this State caused chaos, the State will get even more control over my life and wallet.

But I’m not an economist.

And from Paul Walker:

I think the simple answer is when spending other peoples money you get the upside, ie the things you buy, without the downside of having to actually pay for them. Its a win-win for you, just not so good for those who have to pay for what you buy. Mark is right in that when its other peoples money you don’t value it the same way as you value your own, its just there, to be spent and at no cost to you.

That explains why Labour spent so freely in the last nine years – they weren’t spending their own money, they were spending ours and didn’t value it.

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