Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ass...ass...asset sales...

"National's acted impeccably in doing the wrong thing.

It's wrong by the Opposition's standards of public ownership and retaining dividends. But it's also wrong by its own standards, because the timing is wrong, the price won't be as high as it might be, it won't spark the stock exchange into life (it was already on a roll prior to the announcement yesterday), and the few assets left to be sold means the government is unlikely to reach the profit targets mentioned.

Oh, and it will soon be clear to everyone -- because it's not yet -- that "mum and dad" investors means KiwiSaver funds.

The trouble for National is that politically they've hitched themselves to this wagon regardless of water rights, Rio Tinto, market slumps and even the mismanagement of Solid Energy.

The sale plan is badly damaged and anyone in the private sector would be stepping back, looking at how five has become one or two, and reviewing the whole exercise. But this is one of the few policies on which National has decided to look decisive and brave. They've backed themselves into a corner and now will look weak -- and worst of all like bad economic managers - if they were to do the sensible thing and taihoa."

Tim Watkins @ Pundit has his say. I've cut and pasted the bit that suits me best :-)


Paranormal said...

But of course he overlooks the need to sell assets. The need to try and reduce toxic debt and part way balance the books. Spending up large on Liarbours policy bribes that the gnats have not bothered to reform.

It's no different to the family that has overspent and needs to sell the house to pay off debt. The timing is never going to be great but they have to do it before the mortgagee sale forces an even worse price.

Sally said...

I have cut and pasted this little gem.

"The real endangered species, says Michael Berliner, is us:

There is a grave danger facing mankind. The danger is not from acid rain, global warming, smog, or the logging of rain forests, as environmentalists would have us believe. The danger to mankind is from environmentalism.
The fundamental goal of environmentalists is not clean air and clean water; rather it is the demolition of technological/industrial civilization. Their goal is not the advancement of human health, human happiness, and human life; rather it is a subhuman world where "nature" is worshipped like the totem of some primitive religion."

Armchair Critic said...

But the Supreme Court has said it's OK to do the wrong thing, as long as it's done the right way.
Sally that would be mildly good satire, however I suspect you were being sincere.

robertguyton said...

No need for me to say anything.
Thanks AC.

Armchair Critic said...

I'm back from Australia. I think I might start commenting again, though it looks like I2 is not accepting my comments over at keeping stock.

Armchair Critic said...

By the way, paranormal, in your opinion is it OK to draw a line and say there are things that can't be sold, or should it be anything goes?

darkhorse said...

Hopper Slams Costello Report

KAP State Leader, Ray Hopper slammed the Costello Report today stating that “the LNP paid Peter Costello $300,000 for a few weeks work telling them how to let private companies shaft Queenslanders through their power bills.”

“Costello is recommending selling Queensland’s state-owned power companies and ports and water supplies to get rid of State debt because the State can’t raise taxes to meet the cost of debt” Mr Hopper said.

“It seems to escape this clown’s narrow view that the taxpayer is the same person as the electricity user”.

“What is the foreign private owner going to do to your power bill in return for paying off your state debt? They will put your power bill on the rack and wring it for all of it is worth.” Mr Hopper stated.

“The so called investors aren’t buying a power company or a port they are buying the right to tax you and the Queensland Economy without limit. You can avoid paying your tax for much longer than you can avoid paying your power bill and these “investors” know this.”

“This is as stupid as selling your home to have a party while guaranteeing to stay living in it at whatever rent the new owner may wish to charge.”

Ray Hopper, State Leader KAP media enquiries: 0418 797 312

its everywhere a plague of traitors and simpletons

darkhorse rides again!

robertguyton said...

Preserve us from these thieves, darkhorse!

Paranormal said...

Absolutely anything goes RG.

The real question you're asking (or should be asking) is - What is Governments role?

Clarkula reckoned it was whatever the government thought it should be or essentially felt like. Hopefully you're not as extreme as that.

The government is able to continue carrying out it's role without owning a whole heap of things. And they'd be a whole heap more efficient in that role as well.

robertguyton said...

I understand your position, paranormal, even your loathing for Labour, but I don't agree with your ideology around what Government should 'look' like. I see a need for Government ownership/responsibility for aspects of society that you do not agree with. Your view seems to me absolutist. I don't condone excessive involvement by Government, more the minimum possible where the society benefits. For example, I don't support private prisons at all, because of my belief that if you imprison someone, you assume total responsibility for their welfare. I also support state run schools because of the value of a broad, historically formulated and tested system that has its societies best interests in mind. I support the ownership of critical assets, especially energy assets, for the protection of society from exploitation. I know none of these fields are free from problems; that's part of their fabric and always subject to pressure and change, and that it's 'untidy' from a purist, theorist point of view but they are systems that have the 'blood' of our particular society flowing through them, and like our patchy 'constitution', work well enough and form a significant enough part of our character to be worth fighting for.

Paranormal said...

I understand your position, but I think you have overstated my position. Whilst partly based on a 'purist' agenda, my position is firmly based in practical experience. When government gets invovled in stuff it always does it worse. That is based around incentives and real world realities. In government there is no independent arbiter of success. The individuals mark of success is how many report to them. Straight away you have a problem that the individuals incentives do not match the organisations desired outcomes.

There are some institutions that warrant state ownership - but very few. The army perhaps, but then only as a repository of knowledge for when citizens are called on to defend the state.

Couldn't disagree with you more on Prisons. And this actually flows through the whole of government. It is not governemnts role to provide the services - only ensure that services are provided. If there is a slip in standards then the government is required to fix that. The private prison that Liarbour closed for ideological reasons was performing far better and providing better outcomes for all than state prisons. At the heart of it, a prisoner has been removed from society because of their anti-societal behaviour. there are three elements of incarceration that are all missing from todays prisons - the first being punishment, the second being reghabilitation, and the third their deterrent element.

Look at any of the current institutions of government ownership. At present they are all failing your standard. It is the government entities that are exploiting the public where, in today's world, privately run institutions provide far better service and accountability to the public.

robertguyton said...

"There are three elements of incarceration that are all missing from todays prisons - the first being punishment, the second being reghabilitation, and the third their deterrent element."

I was tempted not to respond at all to your thoughtful comment, paranormal, because of your (inevitable) use of "Liarbour". It's such a stupid affectation from you, especially here where I clearly don't support either National or Labour and you know it annoys me. However, I wnated to respond to your claim (above).
I guess you are joking. No punishment, prison? What tosh!
I like the system that was studied several years ago in Norway/Sweden, somewhere, where rehabilitation was the mainstay of the prison system, where meaningful work and training was provided and where a 'contract' was established between authorities (the state) and the prisoner, to great effect, far superior to our system. It seemed a template we should adopt. Reoffending was practically non-existant. It was very different from what we have here, so I agree ours is poor, but was still state-run, only run well. That's the solution I prefer. That's the solution I believe the Greens are pursuing. Private prisons, where the likes of those corporations/companies we have already involved in our prison system, is a terrible mistake and a great risk, in my opinion.
Please don't use the 'word' Liarbour in any comment here, paranormal, it only makes me think of you are a shallow thinker.

paulinem said...

Paranormal as a decendant of pioners whom built and paid for these assets for the benifit of future generations to enjoy.
I find your arguement for the need to sell our assets pathetic.

Yes paranormal we do have to find and provide funds for certain l essential services such as Christchurch repairs. BUT there is other PROVEN SUCCSESSFUL ways this can happen ..such as printing money which would mean no assets need to be sold to foreign interests.

Also Govt spending, wastefull spending such as Novo pay costs stopped and more wisdom people needs first decisions with economic expenditure.

BUT is Bill English capable of wisdom etc. in expenditure is the question ?

Paranormal said...

Paulinm - have you really studied economics? Or have I missed the satire button? Printing money would be the worst thing we could do. It has proven to destroy more economies than communism. However if you want to frequent such glorious company as Zimbabwe and Germany following WW I all power to you.

I also come from a pioneering family - many of whom actually built a number of the assets we're talking about. That should not stop critical thinking about what is governments role and what solution incentivises better outcomes for NZ.

RG at least we're agreed that the current situation is not good re prisons.

The need for there to be a punishment element to a sentence (the best suggestion I have seen is say the first third of the serntence) is not to benefit the prisoner in some kind of Victorian treat them tough mentality. Punsihment is an important element of any sentence to ensure society see that justice has been done. At present society perceives we have a revolving door justice system where prison is a criminal training / holiday camp.

The remainder of the sentence needs to be about rehabilitation / reintergration. You might be surprised at some of the lengths I think we should go to to achieve this. A more holistic approach is required and involves fixing some of the underlying causes of criminal behaviour. I am not talking about fixing poverty as that is not a cause of crime (I know this will have the likes of Paulinem frothing but all poor people do not become criminals). Literacy skills etc are important but a wider look at the underlying causes are required.

As an example a friend of mine has had success treating Paremoremo D wing inmates with homeopathy that allows them to overcome their issues. Of course he's frowned on by the establishment but those in there, both inmates and staff have seen the results and want him to carry on.

Having studied the situation an element of the scandinavian contract system could operate but I don't believe it is the complete answer with some of the ingrained criminality we have here.