Word of the day

October 25, 2012

Roborant – restoring strength or vigour; a restorative tonic; tending to energise, fortify or increase strength.


Unintended consequences:

October 25, 2012

Trans Tasman adds to the criticism of the Green’s money printing policy:

. . . What’s played to the Govt’s advantage has been the Green Party’s advocacy of quantitative easing to solve the problem of the high dollar.

It has shown the electorate how a Labour-led coalition could be held hostage to extremist policies. QE in the NZ environment would lead to the destruction of income from savings, in turn leading to reduced spending, and inevitably to a contracting economy. So the thousands of NZers who rely on their savings income have been driven back into the National camp. The public is sceptical about solutions which sound easy but have unintended consequences.

Lack of savings is one of the contributing factors to our economic woes.

Any policy which would erode the real value of savings is bad policy.

 


Thursday’s quiz

October 25, 2012

Lack of sleep isn’t conducive to question setting so I’m leaving it up to you.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win an electronic chocolate cake.


Labour is getting its policies from . . . ?

October 25, 2012

Those of us who’ve wondered where Labour is getting its policies from have an answer:

David Shearer: Is the Prime Minister aware that Kurdistan recently postponed selling its state-owned mobile network, Russia recently cancelled three State privatisations, Hungary is preparing to renationalise a gas company, and Croatia has cancelled selling off its State bank?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No, but now it is all starting to become clear where Labour is getting its economic policies from!

Those who wonder why the government wants to sell minority shares in a few energy companies also got an answer:

Michael Woodhouse: Why is it important that the share offer programme goes ahead?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: It is important, firstly, because the Government can use the proceeds of the share offer to invest in new public infrastructure without having to borrow so much to do so. This is exactly the same situation as in 2005 when the previous Government took $600 million from the sale of publicly owned asset Southern Hydro and used it to invest in roads. The share offer also gives New Zealand savers the opportunity to invest either directly or indirectly in big New Zealand companies, and being publicly listed will be good for the companies themselves. . . 

I do believe bringing these companies to the market through the mixed-ownership model is a good, sound economic approach, and actually I think it will deliver a better result for New Zealand without having to borrow more money. . .

Those who wonder who will benefit from the investment got an answer too:

David Shearer: Is it his aim in selling off assets to maximise return to the New Zealand taxpayer or, given that the value of shares is likely to slump as result of the sales, is it to give enormous bargains to those buyers rich enough to buy shares?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member will be aware, because of the Securities Act, that I cannot offer a comment on whether the share sales are likely to be successful or not. What I can say is that if one goes and looks at TradeMe as an example, they will see it was brought to the market under what can really only be described as the mixed-ownership model, and that has proven to be very successful. I think if one also looks at the number of KiwiSaver accounts, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, the other pension funds in New Zealand, and mums and dads looking for investments, they will find those to be attractive investments. . .

And those wondering about alternatives to the partial sales also got an answer:

Michael Woodhouse: What reports has he seen on any alternative approaches to paying for new public infrastructure?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I am aware of a couple of approaches. One is simply to go out there and print money in the misguided belief it will make a country wealthy. Today I have with me actually a $500 million Zimbabwean note. Members might be interested to know that when this was issued in May 2008, you needed 100 of these to buy—

. . .

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: As I say, one option is to print money, and you would have needed 100 of these when it was printed, 100 $500 million notes, to buy an egg—poached, boiled, fried, scrambled, or any other way. The other option—

. . .

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The second approach I have seen is to go out and borrow $5 billion to $7 billion, at a time when countries around the world are trying to reduce their debt. We know that that policy belongs to the big spending, big promising Labour Party.

We’ve sold non-core assets several times to allow us to reduce debt or reinvest in core assets. It’s normal and sensible business practice in countries with free markets.

The concept might be harder to grasp for those who get their policies and business practices from places still struggling from the aftermath of communism.

 

 


The good thing about mid-week parties . . .

October 25, 2012

. . .  is that people go home early.

At least that’s the theory.

But we had 40ish people for dinner, to celebrate a birthday last night, who showed it doesn’t work like that in practice.

The last who weren’t staying left at 2ish and the three who were staying stayed up until nearly 3.

In light of the connection between under-sleeping and over-weight I hope I can fit in a siesta today because four hours sleep isn’t quite enough.


Masking neglect

October 25, 2012

Thought for the day:

. . . Schools taking on the responsibility of feeding ‘the poor kids’ will not change their circumstances.  It will simply mask the neglect that is taking place in some situations and free up a bit of discretionary spending money for others who are willing to take advantage of a programme that wouldn’t actually be intended for them.

Until we change the policy settings to rid ourselves of the ‘entitlement’ culture that seems so entrenched among some, we as a country will continue to produce generations of young people who are genuinely mystified as to why they aren’t receiving even more handouts than they already are.

This is the conclusion of an email to Whaleoil from a school principal.

It gives a very different perspective on feeding children at schools debate.


October 25 in history

October 25, 2012

1147  The Portuguese, under Afonso I, and Crusaders from England and Flanders conquered Lisbon after a four-month siege.

1147  Seljuk Turks annihilated German crusaders under Conrad III at the Battle of Dorylaeum.

1415 The army of Henry V of England defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt.

1616  Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog made second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, at Dirk Hartog Island off the Western Australian coast.

1747  British fleet under Admiral Sir Edward Hawke defeats the French at the second battle of Cape Finisterre.

1760 George III became King of Great Britain.

1813  War of 1812: Canadians and Mohawks defeated the Americans in the Battle of Chateauguay.

1825  Johann Strauss II, Austrian composer, was born (d. 1899).

1828 The St Katharine Docks opened in London.

1838 Georges Bizet, French composer, was born (d. 1875).

1854  The Battle of Balaklava during the Crimean War (Charge of the Light Brigade).

1861  The Toronto Stock Exchange was created.

1881 Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter and sculptor, was born (d. 1973).

1888 Richard E. Byrd, American explorer, was born (d. 1957).

1900  The United Kingdom annexed the Transvaal.

1917 Traditionally understood date of the October Revolution, involving the capture of the Winter Palace, Petrograd.

1920  After 74 days on Hunger Strike in Brixton Prison, England, the Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney died.

1924  The forged Zinoviev Letter was published in the Daily Mail, wrecking the British Labour Party’s hopes of re-election.

1938 The Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, denounced swing music as “a degenerated musical system… turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fibre of young people”, warning that it leads down a “primrose path to hell”.

1941 Helen Reddy, Australian singer was born.

1941 Anne Tyler, American novelist, was born.

1944 Heinrich Himmler ordered a crackdown on the Edelweiss Pirates, a loosely organized youth culture in Nazi Germany that had assisted army deserters and others to hide from the Third Reich.

1944  The USS Tang under Richard O’Kane was sunk by the ship’s own malfunctioning torpedo.

1944  Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history,  between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the U.S. Third and U.S. Seventh Fleets.

1945 China took over administration of Taiwan following Japan’s surrender to the Allies.

1949 IHC was founded.

Foundation of IHC

1962  Cuban missile crisis: Adlai Stevenson showed photos at the UN proving Soviet missiles were installed in Cuba.

1962   Nelson Mandela  was sentenced to five years in prison.

1971  The Christchurch-Dunedin overnight express, headed by a JA-class locomotive, ran the last scheduled steam-hauled service on New Zealand Railways (NZR), bringing to an end 108 years of regular steam rail operations in this country.

End of the line for steam railways

1977  Digital Equipment Corporation released OpenVMS V1.0.

1980  Proceedings on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction concluded.

1983  Operation Urgent Fury: The United States and its Caribbean allies invaded Grenada, six days after Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and several of his supporters were executed in a coup d’état.

1991 Three months after the end of the Ten-Day War, the last soldier of the Yugoslav People’s Army left the Republic of Slovenia.

1995 A commuter train slammed into a school bus in Fox River Grove, Illinois, killing seven students.

1997 Denis Sassou-Nguesso proclaimed himself the President of the Republic of the Congo.

2009 The 25 October 2009 Baghdad bombings killed 155 and wounded at least 721.

2010 – Mount Merapi in Central Java, Indonesia, began over a month of eruptions.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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