A bunch of can’ts holding us back, Ctd

The other day Steven Joyce spoke of a bunch of can’ts who are holding this country back. Today absentee MP David Cunliffe has spoken to the Herald and proved he is a “can’t”:

“There’s just not a huge upside in further deregulation and in fact there’s real downside risk to our clean green brand.”

He added that removing more roadblocks and “simply exporting more of its existing product basket” would not close the gap with Australia.

We can’t simply milk more cows, ship more logs, dig more coal and close a 40 per cent value gap, there isn’t enough water, you run into environmental constraints, there’s not enough arable land, so therefore an alternative strategy is required that will require the migration of parts of the economy to higher value activities.

No David, you can’t. There is a reason you are called Silent T. Perhaps we should now call you David Can’t-liffe.


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  • um..!..an award there for selective-selection-of-quote..?

    ..and aside from the/yr ‘can’t-meme..what is he saying that is incorrect..?

    ..isn’t he just guilty of pointing out the bleeding  obvious..?’

    [email protected]

    • dutyfree

       so if we cant expand the production side, then we had better contract the spending side.

      I guess we could always join the knowledge wave, may be Helen could come back and host a conference on it.

      can’t cut benefits
      can’t afford to spend more on education because too much is being sucked by beneficiaries
      can’t drill for oil
      can’t dig for gold
      can’t export coal
      can’t sell to Chinese
      can’t etc etc

      can move to higher value activities like……….being politicians, being on welfare or the real one, being Australian

      •  i know what we can do..

        currently our rich are the lowest-taxed in the oecd..we can/fix/change that..

        currently the rich pay no capital gains tax..we can fix/change that..

        currently we don’t have a financial-transaction tax..we can fix/change that..

        currently we subsidise those polluting our country..instead of charging them..

        ..we can change fix this..

        currently we state-subsidise unviable/greedy employers..who pay slave-wages..we can fix/stop that

        currently we aren’t using state-support for green-technology..we can fix/change that..

        currently we don’t have heavy enough sin-taxes on alcohol/tobacco..we can fix/change that..

        ..how’s all those ‘can do!’s..?

        enough for starters/to be getting on with..?

        [email protected]

      • Right… adding taxes will grow the economy… I think we have to take note of what Mr. Joyce has been saying: The key point is that the world’s borders are coming down. 

        People, resources and capital can move ever more easily from one location to another, and we are already isolated from most of the world’s economic activity. To bring economic activity here, and jobs, and wealth, we must not put up any more barriers. Those barriers include: more regulations, more taxation, more special interest groups to appease.You’ve rephrased some “can’t do” into “can stop” or “can tax” – bloody well done. Yes, our personal taxes are low – in fact they are low for everyone, not just the rich. The “rich” do pay taxes on gains in value of capital when they are held for business reasons already – they are just not classified as a seperate tax, they fall under existing income and companies tax. Nobody pays slave wages – slaves were not paid any wages, idiot.

        Your “can do” list is a recipe for economic decline and failure. We need to encourage business – not tax the living daylights out of it. Once the businesses, and the wealthy taxpayers have gone, who will pay to support all the state funding you want to provide, and the state sector jobs? You can’t stop them from relocating offshore, and I assure you they will. 

  • In Vino Veritas

    “will require the migration of parts of the economy to higher value activities”.
    Easy buzz words for a politician with Cunliffes background. Migration to higher value activities doesnt happen by magic. And these higher value “activities” (which are exactly what by the way?) have to have a market prepared to pay what the “activities” cost.
    Labour’s standard fare is to make the poor better off by making the rich (whoever they are) worse off, Cunliffe should just stick to that. At least everyone would understand what Labour stands for.

    •  well vino..the stats from other countries seem to indicate that there is a massive green-tech wave coming…as our whole society/culture is greened..

      ..we could go there..for starters.

      [email protected]

      • In Vino Veritas

        Just because a project is designated “green-tech” doesnt automatically make it “a high value activity”, does it Phillip? Surely it will be the manufacture of something, or provision of some service that will inevitably engender competition, which eliminates “high value activities”.

  • Paulus

    Who is this bloke Silent T ?

    • @BoJangles

       CUN_LIFFE.     The T is silent like  P in seawater

      • Petal

        That’s messing with my mind.  Stop it.

  • Blair Mulholland

    Wow, it’s like he read some books on what a politician was supposed to be like… then did the exact opposite!  We can’t milk more cows, ship more logs, dig more coal and close a 40 per cent value gap… well gee, we may as well pack up and become a province of China then!  (As I’ve pointed out before, at least we’d get lower taxes that way)

    •  what exactly are you saying there blair..?

      ..are you seriously advocating that we just continue doing just much more of the same..?

      .,[email protected]

      • Blair Mulholland

         No, I am suggesting we should do some mining as well Phil!

      • Ploughman

        With respect to minerals NZ is the second best endowed country per capita – only Saudi Arabia is richer.  Aus is 7th.  So getting wealthier should be easy for the country.  It ain’t.  There is far too much negative bureaucracy, and left wing idiocy for us to repeat Australia’s brilliant success, even though it should be easier
        We have vast iron ore resources, oil, coal, magnesium and lots of rare earths and other useful materials.  Don’t use the worn out objection that we should’t mine because the finite nature of resource will result in us running out.  No we won’t.  The ability to concentrate compounds from dilute sources is already present.  We will be able to use the ocean as an inexaustable source of our mineral needs, just as we do for salt presently. 
        And ecological damage from most mines is far less than roads and nowadays is prevented,mitigated or remediated.
        And Phil,  can I ask you to use a spell checker and  grammar checker before you write your near illiterate, and therefore hard to understand, messages?  It int a gud luk mate goin frward fur labr or greens party.

  • Spam

    currently our rich are the lowest-taxed in the oecd..we can/fix/change that..
    Currently our rich are the poorest rich in the oecd.  We can make that worse.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t even bother replying to Phil’s blather about the tax rates in this country. With little else to offer business investment (i.e. highly unionised workforce, low labour utilisation, and poor worker productivity) low tax rates are about the only thing that’s keeping business (and therefore ‘our rich’) here. 

    •  “..Currently our rich are the poorest rich..”


      a placard for the next neo-lib-demo…

      [email protected]

  • and sarrs..the fact/reality-check is that the richest have got very much richer over the last little while..

    it is everyone else who is getting screwed..

    [email protected]

  • above was to spam..

    what sarrs said is proven as false by the facts/stats..

    [email protected]

    • In Vino Veritas

      Who, phillip, are the “richest” that you refer to? And which “factsstats” are you referring to?

      I would point out that the time value of money concept means a person with $1m in the bank at any given time, is of course going to become more wealthy than a person with $100 in the bank, at any given interest rate.


    How about kicking to touch all the wasted money we throw at welfare.DPB etc(The ones that are taking the piss,or using dpb as a job).Then maori for programmes that are failing to address the prolems at hand(crime rates,abuse,mortality rates,and god knows what else.Then ditch all the treaty claims.Then look into the health sector,and all the monies owed by visitors,overstayers,and anyone who does not have the right to free tratment in our hospitals.Compulsary travel insurance for tourists,and visitors  would sort some of the problem out maybe.Should see the books looking a little better.

  • Paul

    This is for Phil you have all read it before but “think” about it

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten
    comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it
    would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

    The fifth would pay $1.

    The sixth would pay $3.

    The seventh would pay $7.

    The eighth would pay $12.

    The ninth would pay $18.

    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that’s what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the
    arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are
    all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of
    your daily beer by $20.”Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the
    first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But
    what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they
    divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?
    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted
    that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would
    each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested
    that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same
    amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).

    The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).

    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued
    to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to
    compare their savings.

    “I only got a dollar out of the $20,”declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,” but he got $10!”

    “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”

    “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

    “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat
    down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill,
    they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money
    between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our
    tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most
    benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being
    wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might
    start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

  • Kane Bunce

    So we can’t close even some of the gap by doing *the very thing that helped get Australia so well off*, ie, increased mining? Um, what? The buyers aren’t going to pay us less for the minerals just because we are not Aussies, so actually it would help us. If Australians can become better off by allowing more mining to be done, then so can we. Race, as with other business related things, makes no difference in this.

    “the fact/reality-check is that the richest have got very much richer over the last little while..” Yes, and the poor have got richer too, as evidenced by them being able to afford TVs, PCs, and many other things that were once only the domain of the rich. You see, the reality of being poor, rich, or in-between comes down to not just income, but also expenses and possessions. Someone might have very little income, but be fairly well-off due to low expenses and the fact he already owns a very valuable house on very valuable land and many other valuable goods.

  • Ploughman

    “Rich” speculators do pay capital gains in NZ.  If you buy and sell property with the intent of making money out of the trades you will have to pay income (=capital gains) tax. Our present system protects hard working farmers (and others) whose superannuation is the money they make on the sale of their farm at the end of their working life.  Do you really suggest they should pay tax on this?  If it were implemented it would change farming fundamentally (and adversely) and would hurt a great number of older farmers who would have no chance to compensate in time for their retirement.
    The uncertainty of policy in NZ where it lurches from extreme socialism to moderate capitalism is very off-putting to foreign investors and therefore holds up our economic development.And for the Labourites out there – sorry for using big words.