Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Q+A. Fill in the blanks.

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  • giovanni tiso,

    How many politicians besides John Banks have used the words "I leave that to Whaleoil?"

    I'd say a bunch, but all of them Norwegian.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Sad as I am to say, I think the cycle route is slowly petering out. Expect maybe that some body will be set up to try and coordinate regional efforts, or maybe they'll just bung BikeNZ $50 and task them with it. Then when some reporter asks the question in a year or two they can say "We have put that in the hands of the appropriate authorities, progress is being made..."

    There's a lot of people who want the cycle route to happen. It's just that an increasingly small number of them are in parliament, as the full cost of implementing the original proposal strikes home.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I think they've been rather down on the idea of the government stimulating the economy ever since somebody worked out involved the government spending money.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    1/ No. In fact, those tub thumpers of the hysterical "what do we want? Tax cuts! When do we want them? NOW" media campaign on the Herald editorial board and Mr. Richard Long over at Stuff are flying the kite of tax HIKES - only on GST though you understand, because tax cuts are only good if they disproportionately favour rich people.

    Since last October everyone, except the Kiwi battlers that the PR wide boys of National and their corporate media cheerleaders knowingly lied to with contempt, knew the tax cuts were unaffordable. Now National are in power they can dispense with them.

    The same corporate media commentators who screamed for tax cuts will nod sagely, say the government had no choice but to be fiscally responsible in this recession, and stoutly refuse to countenance that they have been beautifully manipulated into towing whatever line the National Party has fed them.

    2/ Under the lack-of-leadership of that nice man John "Dubya" Key this administration will create its own reality. Paula will stay on the Prozac and Bill English will make sure the right advisors are on hand to tell her what he needs to hear.

    3/ We will end up with a sign at Cape Reianga saying "Cycleway (Proposed) --->".

    4/ Let's no mention the candyman, do it three times and he might turn up.

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

  • Ian MacKay,

    Q: How much longer can John Key keep saying anything he feels like to please his audience, before people begin to notice that his leadership is flakey?
    A:

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Jamieson,

    3) Not much to start from unfortunately - none of the World’s 15 Most Bike Friendly Cities seem to be in NZ...
    (via twitter.com/goodmag)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I'd say a bunch, but all of them Norwegian.

    That sir, made me guffaw.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    1) It'll be a good idea all right - for investors planning to make a killing on shares in the barbed wire, bulletproof glass, and bodyguard industries.

    2) Faith-based dogma. Ironically, the army is investigating binge-drinking culture within its own ranks.

    3) John Campbell already has that covered. And he doesn't want to be a candidate for Vietnam or Watergate.

    4) Be careful about speaking of the devil, it (sic) might actually turn up.

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

  • Sam F,

    4/ Let's no mention the candyman, do it three times and he might turn up.

    4) Be careful about speaking of the devil, it (sic) might actually turn up.

    I'm heartened by the hivemind-uniform sense of revulsion that name has generated amongst PASers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    And a supplementary question from Bob-the-baby: "Why is the Prime Minister sitting on that lady's [Judith Durham] knee?"

    See 29 seconds into this video clip:

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Aaron Dick,

    1. I'm sure I recall being told that tax cuts were going to be part of what got us through the economic torubles that were already brewin during the election. Why is it that suddenly they can't be done if they're supposed to help things?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Hate to be serious up in here, but 1. the argument for growth from a reduction in personal income taxes is over the medium-term rather than the shorter one, so no. And there is some argument that collecting taxes into Government to allow them to leverage it all up with debt and aim spending at the areas that need it would be more effective in a situation like this.
    (Note, I find the argument for tinkering with the marginal upper income rates with the expectation that it's going to change people's productivity absurd and without any practical proof).

    The NZ Institute's paper (pdf) out in the last few days addresses that question. They actually suggest that it is the dropping tax revenue from tax cuts that is the most significant driver of our projected structural deficits, not increased spending. And against a persistently weak growth in GDP, that means not much moolahs for what we'd like to spend our tax dollars on.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Q: Could it be that the mighty gun actually fires blanks?

    I don't qualify for a "tax cut" because the "government" has decided that I am making "enough" money "already". But if I did qualify for a tax cut, I would "spend" it on a duvet made of magic kittens, therefore stimulating the economy.

    Q: My question to the minister: Based on what?

    That time in Arrested Development when Buster joined the army.

    Q: How much of a track are we likely to end up with, precisely?

    Bloody do-gooder politically correct cyclists! If the government knew what was good for them, they'd build a road from Cape Reinga to Invercargill so that all mainstream New Zealanders could drive along it, which is what mainstream New Zealanders do. We don't faff about on bikes!!!!

    Q: How many politicians besides John Banks have used the words "I leave that to Whaleoil?"

    lolz

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Hate to be serious up in here

    Please do. I most certainly think this warrants serious discussion.

    Here you have a party and its boosters who have consistently maintained for at least the last five years of campaigning that tax cuts bring growth. My counter-argument has been that none of Bill Birch's tax cuts in the 90s appeared to have had that effect, so why should it be different this time?

    Well, now's their chance. Even if we accept that they only promised that it would emerge in the medium term, why would they doubt the validity of getting started now, in order to take advantage of the Upturn When It Comes?

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    I agree, hopefully someone in the wider media points out their historical hollowness.
    Like I said, I have been unable to find empirical real-world evidence of cutting upper marginal income tax rates magically delivering productivity (which is what we need for growth in this country). The "rational" argument is along the lines of "people will work more cause they get to keep more of it". What a load of ass, I don't know of anyone that is going to change the way they work because the upper rate goes from 39% to 37% - the counterfactual has been demonstrated in the lack of a sudden drop in GDP from the increase in 99.

    The NZ Institute's paper suggests we move to gather more tax through things like property capital gains, and drop taxes on savings and productive investment. I'm all for both those, and would love for this "crisis" to become the flashpoint for a Government that will take big steps like that. Won't happen but

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Bloody do-gooder politically correct cyclists! If the government knew what was good for them, they'd build a road from Cape Reinga to Invercargill so that all mainstream New Zealanders could drive along it, which is what mainstream New Zealanders do. We don't faff about on bikes!!!!

    Unfortunately, that's Garth George, not satire.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey,

    Unfortunately, that's Garth George, not satire.

    Good old Garth George. I remember him on the radio saying that he was moving out of Auckland as he considered it the arsehole of the country. I couldn't help thinking if that was true then he was possibly the old fart escaping from it.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I remember him on the radio saying that he was moving out of Auckland as he considered it the arsehole of the country. I couldn't help thinking if that was true then he was possibly the old fart escaping from it.

    Roffles. Well done sir.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Yet another reason to never believe a word Garth says,

    For I consider the bicycle to be the most inefficient, uncomfortable and unwieldy machine ever to have been invented.

    Bicycle Efficiency
    As for comfort and wieldyness I think the bicycle has evolved a little since the penny farthing.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    On Chrysler's bankruptcy,

    When Chrysler emerges from bankruptcy, the United Auto Workers union will own 55 per cent of the automaker and the US government will own 8 per cent.

    ref
    I don't believe the USSR had this level of Socialism in its heyday.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    response, to paraphrase again, was: "experts can say what they like, but we think they work."

    Since when have politicians ever worried what social researchers prove when promoting and implementing policy?

    People want to see action, dammit, not pointy head ivory tower academics telling us we don't know what we're doing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Dear Garth might find bicycle riding more comfortable if he didn't talk out of his arse so much.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    People want to see action, dammit, not pointy head ivory tower academics telling us we don't know what we're doing.

    Sir, yes sir!

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    the fabled cycleway will be tossed to the regional councils to nut out - we'll end up with numerous local cycle ways of varying quality (depending on how much the councils opt in).

    And that will be it pretty much.

    But I am assured that the Wellington Regional Council are keen, but I will wager anything that what gets done will a zero budget effort.

    But at least where there is a will there is a way.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I don't believe the USSR had this level of Socialism in its heyday.

    The new structure for Chrysler sounds remarkably like co-op syndicalism.

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

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