Word of the day


Verbile – one whose mental imagery consists of words; one whose mental processes are most easily stimulated by words

Ownership doesn’t influence price and service


A friend reckons all power companies are a pack of b of questionable legitimacy:

I wouldn’t go that far. But we use different companies in different places and have noticed no appreciable difference between the price and service from SOEs and private companies.

Opponents of the partial sale of state owned power companies are fear mongering over the difference it will make to consumers.

In our experience ownership doesn’t seem to influence price or service which are the things which matter to consumers.

Making sense of cents


A couple of weeks ago petrol cost more than 220 cents a litre.

Yesterday I stopped for fuel in Dunedin and was pleasantly surprised to find the price had dropped to 205 cents/litre.

Apropos of this – why is fuel priced in cents rather than dollars and cents?

Is it something to do with commodities?  Wool is usually quoted in cents per kilo too.

Employers are taxpayers


A media release from the Wellington People’s Centre is headlined: A minimum wage rise puts costs onto employers not taxpayers:

“Recent discussions about Labour’s plans to increase the minimum wage seem to have missed an important point” Says Kay Brereton of the Wellington People’s Centre.

Currently taxpayers subsidise employers paying the minimum wage through the Working for Families Tax Credit package. Increasing the minimum wage would put the costs onto the employers who are benefiting from the labour of their employees.

Isn’t it interesting that she doesn’t understand that employers are taxpayers? Not only do they pay tax, they have to absorb the cost of collecting it on behalf of the IRD as well as collecting other money such as ACC levies, fines and payments for children of broken relationships on behalf of other government departments.

The Minimum Family Tax credit ensures that sole parents working a minimum of 20 hours per week, and couples with children working a minimum of 30 hours per week receive net pay of $408 per week.

This equates to $20.40 per hour after tax for sole parents and $13.60 per hour after tax for couples, which means taxpayers are subsidising this employment to levels well above the current minimum wage.

She has a point there but draws the wrong conclusion.

Labour’s tax-churn welfare for working people helped to disguise the parlous state of the economy from 2005.

They had raised taxes, increased the costs of employing people by adding a fourth week’s holiday and introduced other employer-unfriendly policies which at best did nothing to increase productivity and at worst hampered it.

Their tax and spend policies fuelled inflation and unsustainable consumption disguising the fact we were in recession.

Turning this around won’t be achieved by increasing the price of labour. The solution will come from policies which reduce costs and encourage sustainable growth.

May 25 in history


1085 Alfonso VI of Castile took Toledo, Spain back from the Moors.

1420  Henry the Navigator was appointed governor of the Order of Christ.

1521  The Diet of Worms ended when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.


1659  Richard Cromwell resigned as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth of England.

1738  A treaty between Pennsylvania and Maryland ended the Conojocular War with settlement of a boundary dispute and exchange of prisoners.


1787 In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates convened a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States. George Washington presided.

1803 Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and philosopher, was born (d. 1882).

1809 Chuquisaca Revolution: a group of patriots in Chuquisaca (modern day Sucre) revolted against the Spanish Empire, starting the South American Wars of Independence.


1810 May Revolution: citizens of Buenos Aires expelled Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros during the May week, starting the Argentine War of Independence.

1837  The Patriots of Lower Canada (Quebec) rebelled against the British.

1865  In Mobile, Alabama, 300 were killed when an ordnance depot exploded.

1878  Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, American entertainer, was born (d. 1949).


1878  Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore opened at the Opera Comique in London.


1892 Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav resistance leader and later president, was born (d. 1980).

1895  Playwright, poet, and novelist Oscar Wilde was convicted of “committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons” and sentenced to serve two years in prison.


1895  The Republic of Formosa was formed, with Tang Ching-sung as the president.

1913  Richard Dimbleby, British journalist and broadcaster, was born (d. 1965).

 1914  The United Kingdom’s House of Commons passed the Home Rule Act for devolution in Ireland.

1921 Hal David, American lyricist and songwriter, was born.


1925  John T. Scopes was indicted for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.


1926 Sholom Schwartzbard assassinated  Symon Petliura, the head of the Paris-based government-in-exile of Ukrainian People’s Republic.

1927 Robert Ludlum, American writer was born (d. 2001).

Ludlum - The Bourne Supremacy Coverart.png

1933 Basdeo Panday, 5th Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, was born.

1935  Jesse Owens broke five world records and ties a sixth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Jesse Owens1.jpg

1936 Tom T. Hall, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1936  The Remington Rand strike, led by the American Federation of Labor, begins.

1938 Raymond Carver, American writer, was born  (d. 1988).

1938 Spanish Civil War: The bombing of Alicante caused 313 deaths.

1939 Ian McKellen, English actor, was born.


1940  World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk began.


1946  The parliament of Transjordan made Abdullah I of Jordan their king.

1953  At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducted its first and only nuclear artillery test.


1953 The first public television station in the United States officially began broadcasting as KUHT from the campus of the University of Houston.


1955 A night time F5 tornado struck f Udall, Kansas, killing 80 and injuring 273.

1955  First ascent of Kangchenjunga (8,586 m.), the third highest mountain in the world, by a British expedition.

1959 Julian Clary, British television personality, was born.

1961 Apollo program: John F. Kennedy announced before a special joint session of Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a “man on the moon” before the end of the decade.

1962  The Old Bay Line, the last overnight steamboat service in the United States, went out of business.

1963 In Addis Ababa, the Organisation of African Unity was established.

1966  Explorer 32 launched.

1966 The first prominent DaZiBao during the Cultural Revolution in China was posted at Peking University.


1967  Celtic Football Club became the first Scottish, British and northern European team to win the European Cup, beating Inter 2–1 in the Estádio Nacional, in Lisbon.

1978 Bastion Point protestors were evicted.

Bastion Point protestors evicted

  1979  American Airlines Flight 191: A McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crashed during takeoff at O’Hare International Airport killing 271 on board and two people on the ground.

1979  Six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from the street just two blocks away from his New York home, prompting an International search for the child, and causing President Ronald Reagan to designate May 25th as National Missing Children’s Day (in 1983).


1981  In Riyadh, the Gulf Cooperation Council was created between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


1982  HMS Coventry  was sunk during the Falklands War.

HMS Coventry D118.jpg

1985 Bangladesh was hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge, which killed approximately 10,000 people.

1997  A military coup in Sierra Leone replaced President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah with Major Johnny Paul Koromah.

1999 The United States House of Representatives released the Cox Report which detailed China‘s nuclear espionage against the U.S. over the prior two decades.


2000  Liberation Day of Lebanon. Israel withdrew its army from most of the Lebanese territory after 22 years of its first invasion in 1978.

2001  Erik Weihenmayer  became the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Erik Weihenmayer 

2002  China Airlines Flight 611: A Boeing 747-200 broke apart in mid-air and plunged into the Taiwan Strait killing 225 people.

2002  A train crash in Tenga, Mozambique killed 197 people.

2009  North Korea allegedly tested its second nuclear device

 2009 North Korean nuclear test.png

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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