Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: On Ideas

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  • Angus Robertson,

    No, I said its regressive. But that policy affects only a small proportion of overall Danish immigration, and is not any sort of check on the ability of citizens of other Schengen countries to move and work there.

    Found something interesting, up until May 2009 Denmark required the citizens of the new member states to apply for a work permit before entry. So basically until now Denmark has been restricting immigration to citzens of the richest, most comprehensively welfare assisted countries in existance.

    All data until this point in time is based partly upon those restrictions and the aforementioned non-EU entry restrictions (regressive). Give it two years and we will be able to see if the Danish model is robust enough to take the wave of unemployed Romanian, Slovakian, Czech, Pole, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Bulgarian and Hungarian poor who (lacking the welfare afforded the poor in Western & Scandinavian Europe) are migrating.

    Wait two years and see. Until then I am going to keep on saying that the Danish low unemployment "success" with 80% welfare payments, high taxes and liberal hire/fire laws could just be the cherry topping and chocolate sprinkles on a big bowl of stinking xenophobic, conservative immigration policy. I figure you will continue to pick those cherries and not even worry about the after taste.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @Angus Robertson

    Denmark was far from unique in restricting citizens of the latest tranche of new entrant countries to the EU. Here in the UK we were one of the few that did not and prior to the crunch much of the economic boost was young Poles and Czechs coming here and working hard. Our crops would not be picked if it were not for migrant Eastern Europeans because the locals don't want to do the work. The eldest works in a Highland Hotel and apart from the manager there are no Scots on the staff, just a Kiwi, one Aussie and the rest are Poles. Apparently the head housekeeper doesn't even speak English.

    I guarantee there is unemployment in the village, but again the locals won't work in hospitality if they can help it.

    Some of the Poles and Czechs have gone back post Crunch, but not all. The caravans are still there around the farms because someone has to pick the strawberries and raspberries, the blackcurrants, the whitecurrants, redcurrants and gooseberries. The raspberries are very good, the straws not far behind. I'm not complaining.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen,

    The unemployment benefit is conceived as exactly that. It's just that it was deliberately lowered to the poverty level in the early 1990s (see Alastair Barry's still relevant In a land of plenty ) and never raised since, so we don't think of it in that way.

    High unemployment benefit with higher taxes or individuals paying for their own unemployment protection insurance with relatively low taxes - is there a difference? Insurance (actually banking too) companies too cutthroat to be trusted?

    I see Denmark requires actual targeted contributions (subsidised) in order to get their money:

    <quote>With respect to the 80% of salary unemployment benefit encouraging 'bludgers' - it should be pointed out that this entails making contributions (a form of insurance, ableit subsidised) and a one year qualifying period. Denmark also has a regular less generous safety net benefit for people not covered, with no other resources similar to NZ.

    Hmm. Sounds like both ideas really aren't that dissimilar, but until we turn into Denmark I wonder if people would be better off if they knew about the *existence* of income protection...

    Auckland • Since Apr 2008 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    This is tangentially relevant to this thread as it is to do with participation in citizenship and employment. I am really angry about the Government scrapping the Training Incentive Allowance. People on benefits have for years been able to access tertiary education because of the TIA, including the current Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett, who used it to get her BA while on the DPB,

    This is just the sort of help that people who are on the dole or the DPB, or the Invalid's benefit need to get ahead.

    Why scrap this, and at the same time also remove funding for night classes (which are of course particularly helpful for immigrants). Just crazy, short sighted policy.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Goff says he knew Bruce Burgess owned 3 properties when he complained that Mr. Burgess was ineligible for the dole because of his wife's income being above the threshhold. Sez Goff:

    Mr Burgess's situation would not be different to that of other middle-income earners who had bought property in the hope it would eventually create a nestegg and then have suddenly been made redundant.

    Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket! People working the night shift at Foodtown on $12 an hour are supposed to subsidise this guy because he overextended himself, in order to avoid him losing his third property?!

    This sort of thing is why, after 16 years, I stopped voting Labour.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket! People working the night shift at Foodtown on $12 an hour are supposed to subsidise this guy because he overextended himself, in order to avoid him losing his third property?!

    Yeah, and when an acquaintance of of mine has lost her ONE HOUSE because her business has gone under, and three weeks before she was due to have a baby to boot, pardon me if I'm a little short of sympathy for Bruce Burgess. Though to be fair, it appears Burgess was perfectly upfront about his circumstances so I'm not bagging him. It's all very nice for The Herald to admit they got this story badly wrong, but it would have been even better if they'd gotten it right in the first place.

    And I'm sorry if this is rather tasteless, but Goff should be thanking the political Gods that the Weatherston verdict came in yesterday.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But, to mix my martial metaphors for a moment, its a little rich to cry "Tory spin" when Goff handed Key a half-cocked rife and a clear shot at his own foot.

    Yeah. Occasionally we used to have leaders of the two big parties who used to make considered, thought out, policy announcements.

    Now, not so much.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I am really angry about the Government scrapping the Training Incentive Allowance. People on benefits have for years been able to access tertiary education because of the TIA, including the current Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett, who used it to get her BA while on the DPB,

    What's the point of having a social ladder, when people who've climbed it then proceed to take the ladder with them?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And once again, The Standard can't resist egregious partisan hackery:

    I know the media have never applied the same scrutiny to John Key, and nor are they likely to for a while.

    Oh, feh...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Once again, Editing the Herald is essential to understanding the story.

    Heh. What school of journalism is re-writing your old articles from? Bizarre.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • James Coe,

    Yeah, and when an acquaintance of of mine has lost her ONE HOUSE because her business has gone under, and three weeks before she was due to have a baby to boot, pardon me if I'm a little short of sympathy for Bruce Burgess. Though to be fair, it appears Burgess was perfectly upfront about his circumstances so I'm not bagging him. It's all very nice for The Herald to admit they got this story badly wrong, but it would have been even better if they'd gotten it right in the first place.

    Except they didn't admit they got the story wrong at all. They claimed they were misled by Goff, as if one of his powers as Leader of the Opposition were to put stories in the country's newspapers without the approval of editors.

    As much as I - sometimes - have a visceral dislike of Phil Goff, he's just playing the game. No one pays attention to these kinds of policies unless you can put a frowny face next to it. Burgess happened to be a bad pick in this case, but as you say, there are plenty of other people in similar situations.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Just as the herald finished air-brushing out Trotsky, along comes editingtheherald with the original negative.

    No wonder APN hate that site!

    That little bit of revelation alone should qualify the site for a nomination for a Qantas Media Award, or failing that a mention in dispatches on Media Watch this Sunday.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    And now the overly generous Mr Key is going to give all our savings to his mates so they can steal our infrastucture.

    The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is to put up to $100 million into a public-private partnership fund investing in infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and housing.

    And while I'm here.
    Happy Birthday Russell.
    From all us here @ 202.74.207.16
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Except they didn't admit they got the story wrong at all. They claimed they were misled by Goff, as if one of his powers as Leader of the Opposition were to put stories in the country's newspapers without the approval of editors.

    No, Goff just left out a pretty damn pertinent piece of information and while I feel kind of icky about defending The Herald, they're perfectly entitled to be hellishly pissed off about being punked. Just as Fran O'Sullivan Righteously got her bitch on when she was called a liar by Key and Winston Peter, when she had the tape to prove otherwise.

    Of course, that doesn't change the wisdom kicking it old school and doing your fact checking before going to press, and owning it when you fuck up rather than trying an Orwell-style retcon on your website. But that doesn't get Goff any kind of pass for over-egging the pudding and having it land in his face.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kong,

    Curious, in a thread titled 'On Ideas' to hear some. So far we've got the old chestnut, that we should aim to emulate Australia, which seems like not so much a bad idea as an unformed idea, saying nothing, but evoking images of Australian wealth. Then we have the counter offer of Denmark, which is only more like NZ than Australia in population, in every other way its entirely dissimilar. But of course that idea is unformed too, the point, I'm sure, being that we should only emulate some facet of Denmark's way of doing things, some arbitrary dimension or two picked out of the millions that go to making up public policy. I'm sure they're not saying that we ought to move NZ geographically into the middle of one of the richest regions in the world, and then concentrate on monopolizing the herring market.

    Now, I don't have any new ideas. I'll be honest about that, all my ideas for public policy are as old as the hills. Spending cuts seem inevitable in face of reduced tax take, although tax hikes are another possibility, as is borrowing money, and the debate is really about 'what to cut?'. What will be the least damaging to people in need, and the economy? Them's hard questions. Who to hurt, and why?

    The path of least political resistance is probably picking on a couple of bogeymen to make token cuts to, finding creative ways to hide new taxation, and borrowing 'on the sly'. It could also work, depending on how long the recession drags on, a factor that is most likely entirely out of NZ hands.

    Since Jul 2009 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Personally, I'd like to see media outlets name and shame sources that bullshit them more often.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And while I'm here.
    Happy Birthday Russell.
    From all us here @ 202.74.207.16
    ;-)

    Thanks Steve. If I could have been arsed having a party this year, I'd definitely have invited you ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Few beers @ the Neighbourhood Bar tonight then?.
    We'll be there about 6 ish anat.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    No, Goff just left out a pretty damn pertinent piece of information and while I feel kind of icky about defending The Herald, they're perfectly entitled to be hellishly pissed off about being punked.

    Hold on a sec, Craig. If the original article had actually made any sort of attribution to Goff or Labour, then APN could come out of this looking relatively clean. But they didn't. They ran the original story yesterday as if it was an original piece of their own journalism, not something that had been spoon-fed to them.

    Then they tried to re-write history, and they've been called on it.

    I agree that Goff looks like a dick for planting the story in the first place, especially with such weak-arse material (WTF was he thinking?).

    But APN look like dicks for running with it unquestioningly under their own banner. If they got punk'd, it's their own fault, and no-one else's.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Peter Ashby,

    My things that must be done list for this coming summer now includes - batch up some blackcurrant liquer.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    It's preventing type 2 diabetes through nutritional and lifestyle education, and helping little old ladies understand how to minimise the risks associated with their osteoporosis so that they don't end up occupying orthopaedic beds for weeks when they break their arm stopping themselves from falling over.

    These are very sensible things. Unfortunately, helping people understand their risk factors for medical conditions is the dark hand of the nanny state, and is not an idea we can implement.

    While I'm on health/productivity, I want a machine at my brother's work to replace the person currently destroying their back lifting 40kg boxes. Not only is the work inefficient, but in the long run it's costly to everyone.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    What would really improve productivity?

    Perhaps a Productivity Commission, which is to workplace productivity as EECA is to energy efficiency. I'm sure a lot of people would like their businesses to be more efficient, they just don't have the knowledge or expertise to improve their practices. A locus of that knowledge could be extremely helpful.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Rich:

    We're not actually disagreeing on anything. :) But just because The Herald didn't do due diligence (and quite rightly got stung by ETH and other), doesn't mean they're not entitled to be pissed off either. On one level, you have to trust your sources -- just not that much. :)

    And if people want to say what Goff did is "just playing the game", then I respectfully suggest they won't much like the kind of media or politics that results.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Craig, I agree. There's lots of talk about how Goff should play the game, and attack - but doing so is not without its risks. Negativity can work for an opposition, but it can also make you look shallow.

    I'd prefer he set out a vision for an alternative Government.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

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