Green snake oil on sale

October 7, 2012

The Green Party has come up with what co-leader Russel Norman calls a suite of measures to address the high value of the kiwi dollar.

Minister of economic Development Steven Joyce, rightly, calls it snake-oil.

“New Zealand has one of the strongest economies in the OECD over the last 12 months, and yet the Greens are determined to talk us down and promote a bunch of ideas that are only in vogue in countries that have run out of options and have massive and crippling public debt,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Greens solution to supposedly encourage the private sector is to slap a capital gains tax on it. Leaving aside the fact that Australia has a Capital Gains Tax and a high dollar, it’s a strange way to seek to encourage investment and growth by offering to tax it more.

“They then want to abandon sensible monetary policy and whack up the cost of living for every New Zealander, and they want to pay for the Christchurch rebuild by printing money.

“They have truly jumped the shark. The Greens half-baked economic ideas would move one of the few solidly growing OECD economies into the basket case division – more proof that they should never be let near the Treasury benches.

“In the post GFC world New Zealand is doing better than most. Our economy is 2.6% larger than it was this time last year, and the economy has added 57,000 jobs over the last two years.

“The way to achieve faster growth and more and higher paying jobs is to first have responsible fiscal and monetary policy, and then to assist Kiwi firms to become more competitive in the area of skills, innovation, infrastructure, access to raw materials, capital and markets. Not panicky responses from politicians in desperate search for a headline.”

Printing more money as Norman suggests , is one of the failed policies of the 70s and 80s that the late Sir Robert Muldoon might have favoured.

We paid dearly for that with very high interest rates and inflation until our economy was brought back into the real world with the successful policies of the mid to late 80s and early 90s.

Going back to government meddling with the exchange rate and the inflationary impact that would have might provide a temporary fillip for exporters but it would be at a very high cost for the whole economy. Those on middle and lower incomes who can least afford it would pay the highest price.


2/10

October 7, 2012

Blush – just 2/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.


Vamos Los Pumas

October 7, 2012

My farmer has taken some of our staff and a few strays to a Beldisloe Cup test in Australia for several years.

When asked why I didn’t go too, I’ve always said we’d both enjoy it more if I didn’t.

But the idea of going to Argentina with the All Blacks was different.

We hosted an AFS student from there and his family is now ours. Our links to Argentina have been strengthened by the marriage of a nephew to a woman from Buenos Aires; we’d had six trips there and I was very keen on a seventh visit.

We joined the 300-strong Air New Zealand All Black entourage which left New Zealand a week before the Rugby Championship test against the Pumas.

The nine of us in our group were all country people and included four farmers and a stock agent. We could have stayed in Buenos Aires and gone to an All Black practice but the call of the country was stronger so we headed out of town for four days to catch up with friends and visit farms.

We returned to the city on Thursday in time to join the entourage’s evening with the Club Atlético Ferrocarril General San Martín, home of the San Martin Rugby Club where we were entertained by  a three-part contest between former Pumas prop Serafin Dengra and former All Black Frank Bunce (Dengra won the haka, Bunce won the tango and I’m not sure who won the banner erection.)

The locals were very welcoming,  forgiving of my rusty Spanish and treated us to a delicious meal featuring meat cooked on the asado.

Saturday’s test was in La Plata about 40 minutes from Buenos Aires. We arrived there mid-afternoon for a couple of hours of pre-game build-up which included talks by Olympic gold medalist Mahe Drysdale and Frank Bunce.

Our journey from there to the stadium was eased by a police escort which amused us and gained the attention of people we passed, most of whom gave us big smiles and friendly waves.

Estadio Unico, which is covered,  seats 52,000 and had a capacity crowd.

It is alcohol-free which appeared to have no impact on the enthusiasm and enjoyment of the crowd.

All week advertisements had been encouraging people to hug each other while the All Blacks did the haka and most of those in the stadium did.

The noise from the crowd was deafening, especially when the Pumas scored first. They quietened down a bit as the All Blacks took control but continued to be good humoured and polite even though it was obvious the home side wasn’t going to win.

The only noise while the Puma’s player too a shot at goal was from New Zealanders which earned shocked looks from the locals. When thy were noisy while an All Black was taking a shot, the announcer asked them to show respect.

It was an amazing experience and while I still think my farmer and I would both enjoy the Australian excursions more if I didn’t go, my fears about what happens on rugby trips weren’t realised.

Air New Zealand looked after us well with good pre-tour communication, excellent communication and organisation in Argentina and their usual friendly but professional service. They finished by putting on a special flight from Auckland to Christchurch for southerners when a later departure than anticipated from Buenos Aires meant we’d miss the scheduled connection.

If they offer a similar trip in future I’d be very keen to go again.

The 54-15 score secured the All Blacks the Rugby Championship trophy but the Pumas didn’t give up and given the Wallabies’ injury woes could well beat them when they meet in Rosario this afternoon.

With Robbie Deans as coach my heart would usually back the Wallabies if they were playing anyone but the All Blacks. But with memories of the wonderful experience in La Plata so fresh, today I’m saying vamos Los Pumas.

P.S. Jame Ihaka covered the tour for the Herald: Day 1,  day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5, day 6, day 7 and day 8.


Family ownership of more value

October 7, 2012

In a discussion on whether size matters for farms, Dr Jon Hauser  says:

. . . Family ownership and stewardship of the land has more value to our community and the long term health of the nation than is evident in the milk price and farm economics. Individual owners, and especially families, will invest for the long term and do more than just turn over the dollars. . .

A Rabobank survey in Australia found that $10 – $13 million dollar farms tended to be the most profitable. I’d be surprised if this wasn’t also the case here.

These are usually larger family owned businesses. They have economies of scale that smaller ones lack and don’t have problems of governance and management which often dog corporate farms.

However, while profitability is essential for the long-term health of any business, money isn’t all that matters.

From my observation family owned and run farms are more likely to take a longer term view and seek to balance economic, environmental and social factors in their businesses.

That’s good for the businesses, their communities and the country.


Bite-sized politics for dumbies

October 7, 2012

Is this a winning recipe for politics?

A political party, I think we’ve all now come to realise, must offer a small number of bite-sized morsels that can be assimilated by at least the upper end of a voting population dumbed down by state schools and state television.

A political party must accommodate attention spans that are microscopically short, and the anti-conceptual mentality: the inability to think in principles. . .

. . . Now, a libertarian political party in New Zealand must count on at least five per cent of voters who can concentrate for a few minutes, and can connect dots, in spite of having gone to school—and even worse, university—or can elevate themselves to that status during an election campaign. Either way, it must err on the side of brevity, concreteness, simplicity and the short term.

This is Lindsay Perigo’s view, expressed in his speech to the Liberty conference.


October 7 in history

October 7, 2012

3761 BC – The epoch of the modern Hebrew calendar (Proleptic Julian calendar).

336  Pope Mark died, leaving the papacy vacant.

1513  Battle of La Motta: Spanish troops under Ramón de Cardona defeated the Venetians.

1542  Explorer Cabrillo discovered Santa Catalina Island off the California coast.

1571  The Battle of Lepanto – the Holy League (Spain and Italy) destroyed the Turkish fleet.

1763 George III  issued British Royal Proclamation of 1763, closing aboriginal lands in North America north and west of Alleghenies to white settlements.

1776 Crown Prince Paul of Russia married Sophie Marie Dorothea of Württemberg.

1777 American Revolutionary War: The Americans defeated the British in the Second Battle of Saratoga, also known as the Battle of Bemis Heights.

1780  American Revolutionary War: Battle of Kings Mountain American Patriot militia defeat Loyalist irregulars led by British colonel Patrick Ferguson in South Carolina.

1800  French corsair Robert Surcouf, commander of the 18-gun ship La Confiance, captured the British 38-gun Kent inspiring the traditional French song Le Trente-et-un du mois d’août.

1826  The Granite Railway began operations as the first chartered railway in the U.S.

1828  The city of Patras, Greece, was liberated by the French expeditionary force in Peloponnese under General Maison.

1840  Willem II became King of the Netherlands.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Darbytown Road: the Confederate forces’ attempt to regain ground that had been lost around Richmond is thwarted.

1864 American Civil War: U.S.S. Wachusett captured the CSS Florida Confederate raider ship while in port in Bahia, Brazil.

1868  Cornell University held opening day ceremonies; initial student enrollment was 412, the highest at any American university to that date.

1870  Franco-Prussian War – Siege of Paris: Leon Gambetta fled Paris in a balloon.

1879  Germany and Austria-Hungary signed the “Twofold Covenant” and created the Dual Alliance.

1900 Heinrich Himmler, German Nazi official, was born (d. 1945).

1912  The Helsinki Stock Exchange‘s first transaction.

1914 Sarah Churchill, British actress, was born (d. 1982).

1916 Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland University 222-0 in the most lopsided college football game in American history.

1917 Count Felix Graf von Luckner, the German “Sea-Devil” was imprisoned in New Zealand.

German 'Sea Devil' imprisoned in NZ

1919  KLM, the flag carrier of the Netherlands, was founded. It is the oldest airline still operating under its original name.

1920  The Suwalki Agreement between Poland and Lithuania was signed.

1931  Desmond Tutu, South African archbishop and Nobel Laureate, was born.

1933  Air France was inaugurated, after being formed from a merger of 5 French airlines.

1934  Aeromexico was inaugareted 75 years after it becomes the # 1 airline in Mexico.

1939 – John Hopcroft, American computer scientist was born.

1940  World War II: the McCollum memo proposed bringing the United States into the war in Europe by provoking the Japanese to attack the United States.

1942  World War II: The October Matanikau action on Guadalcanal began as United States Marine Corps forces attacked Japanese Army units along the Matanikau River.

1944 World War II: Uprising at Birkenau concentration camp, Jews burned down the crematoria.

1949  German Democratic Republic (East Germany) formed.

1952 Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister and former President of the Russian Federation, was born.

1955  Beat poet Allen Ginsberg read his poem “Howl” for the first time at a poetry reading in San Francisco.

1958  President of Pakistan Iskander Mirza, with the support of General Ayub Khan and the army, suspended the 1956 constitution, imposed martial law, and cancelled the elections scheduled for January 1959.

1959 U.S.S.R. probe Luna 3 transmitted its first ever photographs of the far side of the moon.

1962  U.S.S.R. performed nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya.

1963  John F. Kennedy signed ratification for Partial Test Ban Treaty.

1977  The adoption of the Fourth Soviet Constitution.

1982  Cats opened on Broadway.

1985  The Achille Lauro was hijacked by Palestine Liberation Organization.

1993  The Great Flood of 1993 ended at St. Louis, Missouri, 103 days after it began.

2001  The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan started with an air assault and covert operations on the ground.

2004 King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia abdicated.

2006 – Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya was shot and killed outside her home in Moscow.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: