Socialism kills more than war

24/12/2018

Bad economic policies kill more children than war:

Recent reports that infants now die at a higher rate in Venezuela than in war-torn Syria were, sadly, unsurprising—the results of socialist economics are predictable. Venezuela’s infant mortality rate has actually been above Syria’s since 2008.

But it’s not all bad news.

The big picture, fortunately, is happier. The global infant mortality rate has plummeted. Even Syria and Venezuela, despite the impact of war and failed policies, saw improvements up to as recently as last year. From 1960 to 2015, Syria’s infant mortality rate fell by 91% and Venezuela’s by 78%. This year (not reflected in the graph above or below), Syria’s rate rose from 11.1 per 1,000 live births to 15.4, while Venezuela’s shot up from 12.9 to 18.6. Meanwhile, infant mortality rates have continued to fall practically everywhere else, and have declined even faster in countries that enjoy more freedom and stability. Consider Chile.

Chile’s infant mortality rate in 1960 was actually above that of both Venezuela and Syria. It managed to outperform Syria by the mid-1960s, but was still woefully behind its richer northern cousin, Venezuela.  In the early 1970s, Chile’s progress slowed to a crawl as its elite flirted with socialist policies. Once its government abandoned socialism and began economic reforms in the mid-1970s, the pace of progress sped up again, and soon Chile’s infants were safer than Venezuela’s. Today, Chile’s infant mortality rate is similar to that of the United States.

There is a lesson to be learned from these data points: economic policy matters. While Venezuela’s socialism has managed to kill more infants than a full-blown war in Syria, Chile’s incredible success story shows us that by implementing the right policies, humanity can make rapid progress and better protect the youngest, most vulnerable members of society. Today it is hard to believe that infants in Chile were once more likely to die within a year than their contemporaries in Venezuela and Syria. . . 

New Zealand is in no danger of following Venezuela’s downwards trajectory to complete disaster, but it is concerning that economic growth has slowed:

The economy appears to be slowing with today’s GDP figures showing economic growth in the past three months is the lowest in five years, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“Economic growth in the past three months of 0.3 per cent doesn’t even compensate for population growth. Economic growth per person, which reflects population growth, actually declined in dollar terms over the past three months.

“Despite all the Government’s talk of wellbeing, that means New Zealanders are becoming worse off.

“While quarterly numbers can be volatile and need to be read with caution, these latest figures do suggest a general slowdown from the economy the Government inherited from National.

“These results will cause embarrassment to the Minister of Finance after he was too quick to boast about the previous quarter’s result, which now appears to be an outlier.

“Despite the economy slowing, the Labour-led Government is projected to take an extra $17.7 billion in tax from New Zealand families over the next four years than was projected under National. That amounts to $10,000 less in the back pockets of the average household.

The announcement of another increase to the minimum wage without a change to tax thresholds will mean even more tax taken.

Any families on low wages will be little if any better off because any gain in their pay will be offset by abatements to Working for Families top-ups. It is better to earn more and be less dependent on government support but that will be cold comfort to people who are struggling.

“National believes New Zealanders deserve to keep more of what they earn. Unlike the Labour-led Government, we know that as a country we can’t tax our way to prosperity.

“New Zealand needs sensible and consistent economic policies that promote growth and reward hard work, as well as wise spending of taxpayer money.” 

Venezuela is an extreme case but the lesson is clear – tax and spend economic policies are no substitute for ones which promote economic growth and lessen the burden of the state.

Good economic policy is the necessary foundation for sustainable social progress.


Rural round-up

04/07/2017

Rare birds flourish in Canterbury cows’ paddocks – Conan Young:

A colony of 300 critically endangered birds has found an unlikely place to nest – in the middle of a paddock full of dairy cows.

The discovery was made late last year – black billed gulls building their nests on the Canterbury farm and then successfully raising their chicks, oblivious to the cows grazing nearby and the odd shower from a pivot irrigator.

Ornithologists were amazed to see the birds nesting in an area they had not been seen in for three years.

Last year’s unusual discovery was revealed on Thursday at a seminar organised by Braid – a group dedicated to saving the South Island’s braided rivers and the creatures that live there. . .

Common pesticides can harm bees, but the jury is still out on a global ban – Phil Lester:

Some of the world’s most widely used pesticides can be harmful to bees, according to the first large-scale studies aimed at measuring the impact of compounds called neonicotinoids on bees’ health. But the effects vary widely between different compounds and different countries, suggesting that more regional research will be needed to clarify the exact scale of the problem.

Neonicotinoids, which are typically coated onto seeds before planting rather than being sprayed onto crop plants, were developed with the aim of harming only those animals that eat the plants. But they are also found in the pollen and nectar of treated plants, potentially affecting beneficial organisms like bees. . . 

South Devon cattle ticket to world – Sally Rae:

South Devon cattle have taken Allanton farmer Brian Thomson all over the world.

And what he has discovered is that the breed, which originates from the southwest of England, adapts to whatever environment it is farmed in.

Mr Thomson recently stepped down as the president of the World South Devon Association after a three-year term.

He has been to every triennial world conference since 2005, seeing the breed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the United States and South Africa. . . 

McClay announces FTA negotiations with Pacific Alliance:

Trade Minister Todd McClay has announced the launch of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru and says better market access and lower tariffs will be of real value to New Zealand exporters.

“This is a big win in the fight for better access for New Zealanders to important overseas markets. We’ve worked hard for trade talks with the Pacific Alliance over the last two years and today’s announcement will be welcome news for our exporters,” Mr McClay says. . . 

Fonterra Global Foodservice Takes Supreme ExportNZ Award:

Fonterra Global Foodservice has taken out the supreme award for the 2017 Air New Zealand Cargo ExportNZ Awards for Auckland and Waikato regions.

Judges were impressed with the $1.6 billion foodservice business (which is 80% exports) and growing at around 20% per annum, returning strong margins and true added value to the dairy industry and New Zealand. In tonight’s awards, it also won the Westpac Exporter of the Year (export revenue over $25 million) category. . . 

Supreme Award for Fonterra at 2017 ExportNZ Awards:

Winning the Supreme Award at the 2017 ExportNZ Awards for Auckland and Waikato is recognition the Co-operative’s product innovation is meeting changing customer expectations, says Fonterra Chairman John Wilson.

At an event in Auckland last night, ExportNZ Auckland and Waikato (divisions of the Employers and Manufacturers Association) gave their top award to Fonterra Foodservice after the Co-op earlier won the Westpac Exporter of the Year (total sales over $25 million) category. There were 25 finalists across seven categories of the awards, sponsored by Air New Zealand Cargo. . . 

Bayer Auckland/Northern Young Viticulturist of the Year 2017 announced:

Congratulations to Tim Adams from Obsidian who became the Bayer Auckland/Northern Young Viticulturist of the Year for the second year in a row on Friday 30 June at Goldie Estate.

Congratulations also goes to Jake Dromgool from The Landing in Kerikeri who came second and to Nick Pett from Cable Bay who came third.

The Auckland/Northern region was added to the Young Viticulturist of the Year competition last year and now in its second year the competition has grown already with seven contestants taking part.  . . 


Strengthening links to the east

16/06/2013

We are reaping the benefits from strengthening links with countries to our west, in particular China.

Prime Minister John Key’s trip to Latin America signalled we’re also taking links with countries to our east more seriously.

There is good potential for business relationships, trade and also links through education:

Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced that seven 15 and 16 year-old Spanish language students from New Zealand will travel to Santiago later this year as part of a new exchange programme.

The “Flying Kiwis” programme has been developed in response to the highly-successful Chilean government-sponsored “Penguins without Borders” programme, which was piloted in New Zealand this year, and saw forty Chilean students come to New Zealand to live and study for two terms in the first half of the year.

The New Zealand students will go to school in Santiago and stay with the families of the Chilean students who participated in the “Penguins without Borders” programme.

Ms Parata made the announcement today during her meeting with Chile’s Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, Felix de Vicente in Santiago.

“The “Flying Kiwis” programme is an exciting opportunity for our students. It will enable them to see and experience life in Chile and immerse themselves in the Spanish language,’’ says Ms Parata.

“It was an honour for New Zealand to be chosen to host the pilot of the “Penguins without Borders” programme and a great pleasure for our schools and communities to host the first group of Chilean students. I know that the schools and families in Santiago will welcome and look after our students in true Chilean style.’’

The New Zealand students will be chosen from those learning the Spanish language at schools currently hosting the Chilean students in New Zealand.  Their travel will be sponsored by Education New Zealand, the government’s agency for international education.

“Education exchange is a wonderful opportunity that brings a new world of experience for all involved.  Scholarship and exchange programmes such as “Flying Kiwis” and “Penguins without Borders” create lifelong connections for both the Chilean and New Zealand students taking part. We look forward to continued involvement in such programmes.”

Earlier today Ms Parata met with Chile’s Minister of Education, Carolina Schmidt, and invited Chile to the International Summit on the Teaching Profession which New Zealand will host in March 2014.

Ms Parata is in Chile to reinforce the bilateral relationship, in which education is a key strand, between Chile and New Zealand, following on from Prime Minster John Key’s visit to Chile earlier in the year.

There’s a huge element of luck in exchanges. We got the jackpot when we hosted a teenager from Argentina for a year through AFS and his family is now ours.

The Chilean exchanges are shorter, just a few weeks, but that is time for those involved to learn a lot and establish relationships which could endure.

The programme might lead to longer exchanges and other educational opportunities.

Year-long exchanges between countries in the southern hemisphere, like Chile and Argentina,  make it easier for students because the educational calendar is similar whereas those going to or from the northern hemisphere countries like Japan or China have to come or leave part way through a school-year.

 

 


Capitalism vs Socialism

14/05/2013

This could also be used as evidence that economic freedom is more important than oil which would confound red greens who want more regulation but less oil.

Hat tip: Capitalism


Looking east

11/03/2013

The Eurocentric view of the world has always regarded the East as Asia and the Middle East.

But our East is the Americas and while we’ve long established and strong links with Canada and the USA, we haven’t paid nearly as much attention to countries further south.

Prime Minister John Key’s very full agenda on his trip to Mexico, Columbia, Chile and Brazil is a sign that we’re not only recognising the importance of Latin America but keen to do business there.

The presence of Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy on the trip was no coincidence. Agriculture is one of the sectors with the potential to gain from improved relations with, and access to, Latin America.

Results from the trip include:

* The extension of the Chilean Government’s “Penguins Without Borders” scheme, through which high-achieving Chilean students travel to New Zealand for six-monthly study visits.

* A pledge for further trade and economic co-operation between Chile and New Zealand.

* A willingness for improved strategic co-operation between Colombia and New Zealand which could provide opportunities for New Zealand companies to enter into joint ventures and offers significant potential to increase our exports of agricultural services.

* A commitment to stronger trade relations with Mexico.

The Prime Ministerial visit has opened doors.

It’s now up to businesses to make the most of the opportunities this provides.


First don’t make it worse

20/11/2010

The news that rescue efforts to free up to 27 West Coast miners trapped after an explosion could take days must be frustrating for the family and friends.

But the 69 days it took to free the Chilean miners are an indication of how difficult rescuing miners can be.

One of the reasons for that is the guiding principle of any rescue attempt must be – first don’t make it worse.

Rescuers have to move slowly to ensure they don’t endanger any more lives or inadvertently make matters worse for the trapped miners.

We are still marvelling that no-one was killed by the Canterbury earthquake. Is it too much to hope that there will be a similar miracle in the Pike River mine?


Word of the day

13/10/2010

Taphephobia – fear of being buried alive.

Today’s word comes as a tribute to the 33 Chilean miners who have been trapped in the San José mine near Copiapó for 69 days.

Reuters has a live video here.

The NZ Herald has live updates here.


March 23 in history

23/03/2010

On March 23:

1174 Jocelin, abbot of Melrose, was elected bishop of Glasgow.

Jocelin.JPG
 

1568 Peace of Longjumeau ended the Second War of Religion in France. Again Catherine de’ Medici and Charles IX of France make substantial concessions to the Huguenots.

1645 William Kidd, Scottish sailor, was born.

William Kidd.jpg

1708  James Francis Edward Stuart landed at the Firth of Forth.

1775 American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech – “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” – at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia.

 

1801  Tsar Paul I of Russia was struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael’s Castle.

1806  After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” began their journey home.

 

1821 Battle and fall of city of Kalamata, Greek War of Independence.  

1848 the immigrant ship John Wikcliffe anchored at Port Chalmers carrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand.

The John Wickliffe anchors at Port Chalmers

1848 Otago province was founded.

 

1857 Elisha Otis‘s first lift was installed at 488 Broadway New York City.

1862 The First Battle of Kernstown, Virginia, marked the start of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.

1868 The University of California was founded.

UC seal.png

1879 War of the Pacific  between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru. Chile successfully took over Arica and Tarapacá leaving Bolivia as a landlocked country.

Wotp.en.svg
1889 – The free Woolwich Ferry officially opened in east London.

1889 The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian India.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Flag

1896 The Raines Law was passed by the New York State Legislature, restricting Sunday sale of alcohol to hotels.

1903 The Wright Brothers applied for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful airplanes.

 

1905 Joan Crawford, American actress, was born.

 

1919  Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement.

1921 Donald Campbell, British car and motorboat racer, was born.

 

1929  Sir Roger Bannister, English runner, was born.

1933 The Reichstag passed the Enabling act of 1933, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.

 

1935 Signing of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

1939 Hungarian air force attacked the headquarters of Slovak air force in the city of Spišská Nová Ves, killed 13 people and began the Slovak–Hungarian War.

1942 In the Indian Ocean, Japanese forces captured the Andaman Islands.

1949 Ric Ocasek, American musician (The Cars), was born.

 

1956 Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic in the world. (Republic Day in Pakistan)

1956 José Manuel Barroso, Portuguese politician, president of the European Commission, was born.

1962NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, was launched as a showcase for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace initiative.

NSsavannah-1962.gif

1965  NASA launched Gemini 3, the United States’ first two-man space flight.

Gemini3.JPG

1980  Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador gave his famous speech appealing to men of the El Salvadoran armed forces to stop killing the Salvadorans.

1982 Guatemala’s government, headed by Fernando Romeo Lucas García was overthrown in a military coup by right-wing General Efraín Ríos Montt.

1983 Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan made his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.

1989 Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced cold fusion at the University of Utah.

 

1994 Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated by Mario Aburto Martínez.

 

1994 – Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed in Siberia when the pilot’s fifteen-year old son accidentally disengaged the autopilot, killing all 75 people on board.

1994 – A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collided with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashes, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground in the Green Ramp disaster.

1996 Taiwan held its first direct elections and elected Lee Teng-hui as President.

1999 Gunmen assassinated Paraguay’s Vice President Luis María Argaña.

2001 The Russian Mir space station was disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean.

2003 In Nasiriyah, Iraq, 11 soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company and 18 U.S. Marines were killed during the first major conflict of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2005 – A major explosion at the Texas City Refinery killed 15 workeers.

2007 Burnley Tunnel catastrophe in Melbourne.

 

2007 – The Iranian Navy seizes Royal Navy personnel in the waters between Iran and Iraq.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Fonterra’s factories damaged in quake

03/03/2010

Fonterra has established no-one at any of its sites in Chile was injured by the earthquake but hasn’t managed to contact all of the company’s staff who were at home when it struck.

In a newsletter to suppliers, company chair Sir Henry Van der Heyden said that there’s been varying levels of damage to its plants.

The one nearest to Concepción is quite severely damaged but the others should be back in action in a few days.

The company is working with farmers to help manage milk supplies until normal processing resumes.


Degrees of separation from disaster

01/03/2010

It is difficult to comprehend the human impact of a disaster like the earthquake in Chile when those affected are a number in a news report.

But within an hour of hearing the news of the earthquake and the tsunami warnings for New Zealand we were talking to the daughter of friends. She told us they were hosting a Chilean exchange student who had been desperately trying to reach his family by phone but couldn’t get through and was waiting anxiously for a call from them.

What had been an abstract disaster became more real as we saw her concern for a teenager thousands of miles from home, waiting and worrying about his family and friends.


USA backs out of FTA

08/03/2009

Remember the excitement which greeted the announcement that the USA was going to enter mulitlateral free trade negotiations with New Zealand?

Well, take the champagne out of the chiller, because TVNZ reports they’re back tracking .

The Obama administration has sought to indefinitely delay the so-called Trans Pacific Partnership talks due to get underway in Singapore later this month.

They were expected to strike a trade deal between the US, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei.

The postponement is to give time for the US to select a new trade representative.

This is a serious blow not just to New Zealand’s hope for improved access to US markets but to all who’re working towards global free trade.

As Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson said when reacting to the anouncement the USA was going to join the Trans pacific Partnership:

“Moves to negotiate multilateral agreements with likeminded countries by the United States, sends a clear signal to the WTO to get Doha back on track. 

The indefinite delay shouldn’t derail the Doha negotiations but it could result in much slower progress.

UPDATE: goNZofreakpower asks if this means we can can  section 92A?


Free Trade deal with US closer

23/09/2008

Great news – the United States is going to join New Zealand, Singapore, China and Brunei in multi lateral free trade negotiations as part of the Comprehensive Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement.

The agreement, commonly known as the “P4”, was signed between Singapore, Chile and New Zealand in 2005. Brunei joined it a year later.

It aims to tear down trade barriers among participants within a decade.

World wide free trade is best, but until we get there, free trade deals with inidividual countries or groups is a lot better than trade restrictions and Phil Goff deserves our gratitude for achieving this progress with the USA.

If this free trade deal goes ahead it will be especially good news for sheep and beef exporters who currently disadvantaged by taxes put in place to protect U.S. meat producers in their local markets.


Fruit Rots for Want of Pickers

24/06/2008

Australia is borrowing our ideas to help solve their problems with a shortage of seasonal workers:

FRED Tassone is one of scores of operators of orchards, market gardens and vineyards across the country who cannot find enough workers to pick their produce.

Despite more than 460,000 people being officially unemployed in Australia, the chronic labour shortage in the horticulture industry has reached the point where fruit has been left rotting on trees, and vegetables are left in the ground.

The federal Government is evaluating a recently completed trial of a seasonal workers program in New Zealand, generally regarded as successful by government and industry alike. Soon the sight of Pacific Islanders in fields across Australia may be commonplace.

A decision on a pilot of a program allowing Pacific Islanders short-term visas of up to six months is expected in the next few weeks. Pacific leaders have long advocated the freer movement of labour.

The use of Pacific workers helped orchardists in Central Otago last summer, and also added vibrancy to the community. A group of workers, with beautiful voices, used to busk at Wanaka’s Sunday market.

The mining boom in Western Australia has attracted many people who might once have been prepared to do the hard physical work in the orchards and vineyards.

“It doesn’t matter whether the unemployment rate is 5 per cent or 50 per cent, Australia’s unemployed don’t want to do our work,” Mr Tassone said.

“Unskilled workers can make up to $1200 a week, but Australians just don’t want to do it.”

Jonathan Nathundriwa, 30, from Fiji, who works on a farm next to Mr Tassone’s, said local unemployed people were not interested in the hard physical work required.

On the other hand, the Islanders would be delighted to earn a decent income, Mr Nathundriwa said.

“My family back in Fiji are busting their chops for $10 a day,” he said.

“I would love to be able to give them employment.”

He could also be talking about the dairy industry here.

 Gay Tripodi, who runs stone-fruit operation Murrawee Farms at Swan Hill, in Victoria, said backpackers were not a solution.

“For God’s sake, they’re a nightmare,” she said. “It’s not their fault – most are good kids, but 99 per cent have never been on a farm.

“We need workers who can stay with us for the duration of the season, five to six months.

“We can train them up and then they return to us the following year. We have been really struggling. The situation is dramatic.”

We have a similar problem with people unaccustomed to farms who think they want to work in dairying. It would be great to be able to employ seasonal workers on dairy farms in the same way orchards do. If we could we might look further than the Pacific Islands. We’ve had good workers from Argentina and Chile and neighbours are equally positive about workers from Uruguay.


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