Learning from history

Edmund Burke said,  “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

The National Party does know its history and has no intention of repeating the mistakes made by the then-Labour government (in which were current Labour leader Phil Goff and Act MP Roger Douglas) when it sold state assets in the 1980s.

The proposal to sell minority stakes in a few State owned Enterprises, announced by John Key yesterday,  is a very moderate response to the very real danger posed by New Zealand’s high level of debt.

The left are scaremongering that this will mean overseas ownership but it won’t.

The government will retain a majority share and New Zealanders will be first in the queue for shares.  Among them could be Kiwi Saver providers, the Superannuation Fund and Iwi with Treaty Settlements none of which were possible buyers a couple of decades ago.

Even if they then on-sold to foreigners, and it is most unlikely all of them would, the government would still have a majority holding.

Funny how the people who oppose overseas ownership of land, (which can’t be taken away and use of which is subject to domestic laws) and minority shares in businesses, don’t seem to mind being highly indebted to foreign banks.

You don’t have to know much about history to realise that poses a far greater danger to our economy and sovereignty than selling a minority share in a few assets.

18 Responses to Learning from history

  1. pdm says:

    HP they may as well not open them to privatisation if the Investors are expected to be the Superannuation Fund and Kiwi Saver Funds. New Zealand is only about 2% of the World Markets and that is the percentage of those funds that should be invested in NZ.

    People forget that there are a number of overseas companies that are far bigger than the NZ economy.


  2. gravedodger says:

    Meanwhile the various shrills and their media acolytes are calling the very clear intent as outlined by the Prime Minister, as asset sales instead of the partial sell down of the governments 100% holding, leaving the government with a controlling interest above 51%. Are they being the usual “tools” they play so well, being disingenuous or are they just demonstrating they are simple.

    The alternative to the moves suggested by Mr Key is the devolution of our sovereignty to the foreign money lenders and I wonder if any of the chorus actually understand economics sufficiently to make an informed judgement on that.


  3. robertguyton says:

    The very real danger is the pending down grade coming new Zealand’s way. Key has failed to protect the country from that and now must start selling our stuff to avoid the disgrace of a down grade.


  4. Peter says:

    Little more than putting a brave face on disaster.Hardly good news. The reality is that this is another symptom, another indicator of decline. A perverse form of reverse colonialism. Imposed on us.
    The fact is, quite simply, that New Zealand is starved of capital. This has taken years to acheive. Years of socialism, politics of envy and poor governance have wrought their evil work.
    Government, central & local extract & consume, far too much from the economy. In the end, anything worthwhile has to be hocked off to foreigners. Heavens above, our hopeless National Government is borrowing up to $350 millions every week to balance the books.
    The fact must be admitted that State demand for cash resources must be vacuuming up seed capital now, capital that would have been better employed in free enterprise.
    No, our sovereignty, control, national pride, choices and resources are being flogged off & surrendered in weekly, $350 million sized bites.And just to fund our socialist paradise.
    Who would have thought that the Government of the Peoples Republic of China may be the chief beneficiary of the Southland Lignite reserves?

    Thats how I see it.


  5. smttc says:

    Peter, I agree with you. It is too little, too late. We are the self made victims of voting for too much socialism. Now it is impossible to wean the sheeple off it. They simply will not have it.


  6. pdm says:

    RG – as I said somewhere yesterday that downgrade would have happened in February 09 if Labour had continued in Government aided and abetted by the Greens.

    We have had 2 years grace and John Keys speech may avert the downgrade that seems to worry you so much.


  7. robertguyton says:

    Yes pdm, you did make that completely unsubstantiated claim yesterday and I afforded it less credence than I am now – by ignoring it.
    Key’s plan is to sell our stuff.
    Master-stroke! And something no-one could have forseen! He’s the Magical Mystery Man who will save us from our profligate selves.
    Pdm – you’re a great ‘if’ man.


  8. Sally says:

    I felt that the blog from the pc.blogspot is not far off the mark;

    “John Boy’s announcement today of his intentions for partial privatisation of so-called state “assets” is the weak-kneed response of a lily-livered government to the realisation that has taken three years to dawn on them that theirs is a government unable to pay its way—and that somehow, somewhere, there must be a way to get more without giving anything away what they’ve found under the mattress.”

    Peter & smttc know exactly what the problem is -that is the government – whether it is National or Labour in power will make no difference to the mess we are in. They are both equally guilty of profligate spending.


  9. Tired Farmer says:

    Once a Trader always a Trader John

    Nothing like making people pay twice


  10. gravedodger says:

    Of course we will totally ignore the policies of the Clarke government that expanded the government with all the finesse of a drunk in a brewery, made student loans into bad debts, raised the minimum wage and denied the young many first job opportunities, reduced the unemployment numbers and created an explosion in “sickness” beneficiaries and squandered the best chance to set the country on a growth curve that would have been the envy of many,all during the best economic times NZ inc has had in the last 40 years. Then as a parting shot when they knew they were dogtucker, bought a trainset at an OTT price with money we didn’t have. Drove NZ into recession before any of the other western economies and in the case of the primary sector some 4 years earlier.
    As if that was insufficient manifestation of failed socialist dogmatic policies leading to making enough voters dependent on the state for the government’s apparent survival they left a rump of economically ignorant supporters that are a base for electoral success when enough of the sheeple realise that electing John Key was a ghastly mistake and a return to the true path will be reinstated.
    That rump produces much of the ignorant, misinformed comment in the media, blogs and talkback perpetrating the Myth that John Key will “SELL STATE OWNED ASSETS” when all he offered was a partial sell down to free up capital for reinvestment to reduce the need to borrow internationally. I am certain those with dollars to invest who avoided wholly or even partially the vultures of the finance markets would welcome with open arms the opportunity to invest in the bricks and mortar or is that the concrete water wind and steam of the SOE Power Cos.
    The Key government is treading a fine line as it brings us out of recession, mindful of the potential for inflation to morph into stagflation, trying to ensure a wealth creating base to create growth and all the while enduring the shrills who are calling for for more drastic action to expose the govt to either a backlash from the centerleft or send the economy into the arms of international financiers or both, guaranteeing a return for the muppetts who created the mess during the nine years of prosperity as their legacy to us.


  11. smttc says:

    gravedodger, of course John Key could have refused to swallow all those dead rats and put his faith in the voters to dump Labour anyway. But he didn’t, presumably because he knew too many of the voters who mattered were wedded to socialist handouts. So he is stuck with this mess now and has little prospect of weaning the critical mass of voters off it. As I said, they simply will not have it and will vote to secure their handouts.


  12. homepaddock says:

    “presumably because he knew too many of the voters who mattered were wedded to socialist handouts.”

    Sadly yes, that’s what the 2005 election showed – Brash had reasonable and affordable alternatives to things like interst free student loans and Working for Families but voters opted for Labour’s expensive bribes.


  13. Scott says:

    “The National Party does know its history and has no intention of repeating the mistakes made by the then-Labour government (in which were current Labour leader Phil Goff and Act MP Roger Douglas) when it sold state assets in the 1980s.”

    The public also knows the history of the National Party.

    You failed to mention National’s asset sales in the 1990s: BNZ, NZ Rail, Contact Energy, and Auckland Airport, to name but a few. Some of the members of the Fourth National Government who so happily oversaw the flogging off of those assets are currently in Cabinet.

    And yet you say “trust us”.


  14. homepaddock says:

    “Some of the members of the Fourth National Government who so happily oversaw the flogging off of those assets are currently in Cabinet. ”

    That’s a Cabinet led by someone who wasn’t even in parliament in the 90s and which has kept its word no assets would be sold this term and if any were to be sold in the second (if it gets one) it would be announced before the election and voters could accept or reject the proposal.

    Contrast that with Labour, many of whom were in the adminstration which sold assets in the 80s. Most were also in government in the noughties which caused many of the problems now facing us.

    The proposal is not total sales as happened in the 80s and 90s but sales of a minority share.


  15. smttc says:

    You know Robert, you should not be rejoicing in the state of affairs the country finds itself in.

    The right wing may be castrated by its deal with the electorate. But the left has a lot to answer for in getting us in this state of affairs in the first place and has no plan to get us out of it. Only plan is to bribe the voters for power (God forbid).

    You know why you should not rejoice? NZ could well become second world in terms of living standards if the sheeple cannot be persuaded to stop voting themselves pork (ie other peoples money in the form of taxes and debt).


  16. Paul Walker says:

    @ robertguyton

    “Gordon Campbell *thinks it’s cr*p”

    In a way he is right. Partial privatisation isn’t the answer, full privatisation is.


  17. robertguyton says:

    ” rejoicing in the state of affairs the country finds itself in”
    Hardly smttc – my comments aren’t of the ‘rejoicing’ sort – more ‘despairing of the state of affairs the country finds itself in’. This latest list to the right is no reason for glee.

    I think he’s right in a way to Paul – the way he describes.


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