Posts by Matt Crawford
Polity: Canada voted, in reply to
I had no idea sex slavery was legal in Canada until recently.
Polity: House-buying patterns in Auckland,
Further supporting the hypothesis of offshore money becoming a greater actor in NZ housing is the lack of reaction exhibited by the realestate market to changes in the NZ offical cash rate.
It was clear during the middle of last decade that ever higher interest rates did little to slow the gain in house prices. From 5% in 2004 the cash rate was cranked to a high of 8.25% in 2007/8, yet housing continued to inflate miles above the level of the rest of the economy.
Overseas buyers do not borrow from NZ banks, and do not heed NZ rate rises. This, in an of itself, is a problem. Inflation is inflation, and the Reserve Bank is obliged to ratchet the cash rate higher, with corresponding negative effects on business and exports.
We know that the NZ realestate market is unique in that gains are entirely tax free, and the market is uniquely open to foreign speculation. We know that there are large pools of foreign capital seeking investment. The question isn't are offshore investors buying NZ realestate, but how large a chunk of the market they are.
I do regret that Twyford was inelegant on his appearance on The Nation. This is a subject that needs more than a little elegance, what with NZ's sordid history of fear and loathing.
But to pretend that Twyford has invented a racist dog whistle ignores the evidence. Whether speculators from China are buying 40% of available stock is another question, but I absolutely guarantee they're buying some of it. Because our market encourages it by design.
And in the context of a supply crisis is this good for NZ exporters? For people desperate to get off the rental treadmill? For stretched homeowners struggling with high borrowing costs?
Hard News: Apple Music: Taking a dump on…,
I absolutely love Apple hardware – nothing comes close. This MacAir I’m typing might be 2-3 years old, but it is a piece of genius. A perfect computer.
But every time I have the misfortune to open itunes I curse. It’s horrible. It’s a bad flashback to the worst of early 2000s media players.
It’s incomprehensible that the company of Jony “tangency breaks and Bézier surfaces” Ive still want to us to access their world from a creaking and terribly unsexy gateway like itunes.
In one of my drawers is a fully functioning first generation Zune. In brown no less. And even though the software hasn’t been updated in a few years now, and even though Zune Marketplace has closed; every time I boot the Zune software for old times sake I let out a quiet moan of delight. The software is gorgeous and intuitive, it’s fantastic.
It boggles my mind that Apple let their culture of insane perfection be besmirched by such a terrible piece of software as Itunes – it’s a relic clinging on from the ipod age. Burn it down and start again: there is nothing worth saving.
Hard News: Public Address Word of the…, in reply to
A sound decision - some shit is just too nasty.
As an aside it has been interesting seeing the word penetrate our national dialogue as NZ struggles to come to terms with the awful legacy of the case. Reporting of the recent rape trial of New Plymouth Boys' High School students was framed by references to it, as was the recent MoE review of sex education.
May 2015 be a bit less shit...
Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,
Legal Beagle: A rather incomplete…,
I managed to submit something just before midnight. Apologies in advance to the committee for the spelling errors - give us a longer period to submit and you wont get something typed half-asleep in bed.
Submitting via the form is incredibly easy - so easy I almost expect in the future there will be requests to make it more difficult to use, to gently deter casual submitters.
Hard News: Team Little: pretty good,
The impression I recieved from Mahuta during the leadership campaign is that she seems to have focused most of her energy internally into her electorate (keeping Labour in a Maori electorate post-seabed&foreshore is no mean feat) but I think it has come at the expense of her profile at the national level.
That's something to consider about profile of Labour at present - a large number of electorate MPs, and a handful of list members. There is only one list MP on the revamped front bench (Little).
Hard News: News from home ..., in reply to
Not even as much as Little-as-leader making a choice, rather Little-as-candidate arguing about the ability of Labour to effectively campaign on CGT and super@67 from opposition.
I think you can get an idea of what Little is thinking if you look towards the differences between the 2011 and 2014 election manifestos where Labour detailed its intentions to raise wages that are already above the proposed minimum wage.
The 2011 document detailed extensively the changes the party wanted to make such as reintroduction of industry standards to allow negotiated wage increases to be rolled out to non-unionised workforces.
The 2014 version had some fluffy pro-worker statements, but fudged the mechanisms which would be introduced by calling for a post-election commission to hammer out the goals and details.
I don't think that this style would have worked in 1999 for Clark; at that point in time NZ simply didn't trust politicians to do what they campaigned on (hence Labour's recent fetishisation with pledge cards). But I think that a few decades after the Douglas/Shipley deception the electorate is now prepared to give the governing party a little more wiggle room than they used to - the electorate shrugged when Key announced a surprise tax switch.
Hard News: News from home ..., in reply to
Upon a question he made a bizarre comment. Saying Labour need to find out what is going on at the work-places. I could not believe it, and asked myself, what the hell has he and have Labour been doing the last few years, to ask such a stupid question?.
Well to point out the obvious, Labour have never been less in touch with NZers voters than they are now, and they've spent the last few years hemorrhaging voters.
Hard News: News from home ...,
I am very sympathetic to those who supported Grant Robertson. He's a tremendously likable guy and of the four contenders is the most naturally talented in the house. Of all the candidates his values most closely matched mine.
I fretted long and hard about my leadership vote. Eventually settling on Little 1, Robertson 2.
I'd have voted for Robertson as leader instead of Goff in 2008 and Shearer in 2011.
This time though, Robertson's problem was pitching himself as "the choice of the new generation" while refusing to look honestly at the failures of red team, let alone talk about rejuvenation. Labour has lost elections, but has also stagnated: a single new Labour MP entered the house this election via the general electorates.
When I asked Robertson about his feelings on caucus his reply made clear that his loyalties lay with the same stale senior personalities who have overseen the decline of the party as an effective parliamentary force over the last two terms.
Robertson and I disagree about the merits of caucus; fair enough. I disagree with Little about the merits of extending surveillance powers and CGT.
But in 2014, after two historic defeats and a diminished caucus seemingly intent on self-preservation at the expense of the party as a viable political force, the best choice for me seemed to be the candidate who best appreciated the need for change and declared themselves eager to raise parliamentary standards.