Media watch – Monday

3 July 2017

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

18 Comments

  1. That’s not very endearing, not a good look for TOP. And it leaves off the Maori Party.

    • They’ve nailed NZ First

    • PDB

       /  July 3, 2017

      Should be called ‘The Opportunity Shop party’ as that’ll be where we would all have to go if Gareth was running the economy.

      • Mefrostate

         /  July 3, 2017

        Which TOP policies in particular would crash the economy, PDB?

        • PDB

           /  July 3, 2017

          Universal income, Asset tax – take your pick

          • Mefrostate

             /  July 3, 2017

            I like both of those, so this is a great opportunity for you to convince me not to vote TOP and encourage my friends to do the same. Go for it.

            • PDB

               /  July 3, 2017

              Indeed, quite the opposite – I encourage all left-wingers to vote TOP to get as close to 4.9% as possible. But for further reading which points out the economic nonsense of Gareth go here for solid rebuttal of his asset (asset envy) tax: http://pc.blogspot.co.nz/2016/12/gareth-morgan-goes-full-retard.html

              “This is the incoherence of Morgan’s incoherence. This is the crux. Morgan claims to be taxing actual benefits, yet he needs someone to deem what these benefits actual are because, well, they don’t actually exist. This indeed is the very problem at the very heart of the whole concept of imputing incomes: that these incomes don’t actually exist, and in glossing over this point – or trying to – Morgan wants people to pay his tax who have no actual income with which to do so”

              and here for the issues (from a pro-UBI supporter) with Gareth’s universal income:

              “More importantly, though, while relatively low basic benefits could make the system affordable, they would not be politically stable. There would be pressure to layer a benefits system on top of the UBI, or to increase the UBI. It does not seem plausible that any government would be able to withstand the likely months’ long John Campbell campaign that would, every day, highlight a different family whose benefits were cut under the shift to a UBI. We would quickly have a welfare system layered on top of a UBI, increasing the costs while eroding the UBI’s benefits.”

            • PDB

               /  July 3, 2017

              Jamie Whyte puts it well regarding Gareth’s asset tax:

              “Morgan is right that buying a house to live in enjoys a tax benefit that some alternative uses of your money do not. Suppose you inherit $1 million, deposit it with a bank and use the interest income to rent a house. The government will tax your interest income. If you instead use the $1 million to buy the house you live in, you will pay no tax. But this difference does not make having a roof over your head a kind of income. What you consume is never your income. Perhaps Victoria University did not cover the difference between consumption and income when Morgan was studying for his PhD.

              It is a shame, because Morgan’s difficulty in distinguishing them makes him see untaxed income everywhere. It isn’t only the accommodation supplied by your house that he deems an income. He thinks your car and boat, for examples, also provide you with an income that should be taxed.
              It’s the same mistake. You can purchase car transportation by buying your own car or by riding in taxis. In both cases, car transportation is what you consume, not your income.

              Of course, you could sell the transport your car delivers instead of consuming it. You could rent your car to someone else or use it to be an Uber driver. But just because something could be a source of income doesn’t mean it is one. You could rent out your clothes, your bed, your fridge. Because you need them for yourself, however, you don’t. And, so long as you don’t, they are consumables, not “productive assets”.

            • Mefrostate

               /  July 3, 2017

              On TOP1:

              Taxes should be neutral. Our current tax system falls short. It treats two different elements of Haig-Simons income differently: income from work and imputed rental income. It also taxes housing and business capital differently. Both of these cause problematic distortions. TOP is the only party even willing to talk about these two problems.

              On UBI:

              Sensible heads on the left and right (you and me, for example) agree that the UBI is where we are headed. TOP7 acknowledge this, and they also acknowledge the cost issues. They’ve done a decent job of taking our first steps towards it.

            • PDB

               /  July 3, 2017

              Just quickly;

              1. I’m not a UBI supporter – the article writer was I linked to – even he can’t see it working.
              2. A UBI income can only work if it gets rid of all govt benefits – Morgan’s doesn’t do that and is not enough to live on and can not be raised any more as to become unaffordable to the taxpayer.
              3. An asset tax on goods/assets bought with money already well taxed with someone plucking out of thin air the value of these benefits is a disaster in waiting. Everybody would have to file a tax return, get accountants and regular valuations in order to ensure paying the right amount owing each year. A good tax is a simple tax (like GST) – this is extremely complicated. Gareth has already backtracked as to who would pay, what constitutes an ‘income making asset’, how and when payment is made. A tax like this can’t work if you have no means of getting money back if a so-called ‘income making asset’ devalues (like your house value goes down).

              A far simpler tax if Gareth wanted to go down that route is a CGT.

            • Mefrostate

               /  July 3, 2017

              Thanks PDB this is all good stuff and much more useful to me than your initial comment. I’m on mobile now so I’ll just add a few thoughts.

              2. I’d like to see a transition from our current welfare system to a UBI over time, at affordable amounts, as capital productivity increases. I think TOP7 reflects that preference better than other parties.

              3. Administrative simplicity is another criteria for assessing taxes, to be traded off against neutrality, efficiency, broad base & low rate, etc. You’ve proposed a CGT, which also gets met with cries of “too complicated! I take your point that imputed rents are very difficult to assess, but certainly think more of the tax base should come from land (and less from income). I can expand on my reasoning for this if you like. Again, TOP seem to be doing the best job of raising and attempting to address this issue.

  2. PDB

     /  July 3, 2017

    Simply to provide balance to NIWA always shouting out when a particular month is particularly hot here is their report for May 2017………nationwide 0.3 degrees below the May average.

    “May temperatures were below average (-0.51 to -1.20°C) for eastern and inland parts of the South Island, southern Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa. Pockets of well below average temperatures (< -1.20 °C) were observed in Tasman, south Canterbury, Mt Cook and southern Central Otago. May temperatures were typically near average (-0.50°C to +0.50°C) for the remainder of the country.

    Temperatures

    The highest temperature for the month was 23.4°C, observed at Waione on 10 May. The lowest temperature was -6.9°C, observed at Middlemarch on 22 May.

    On the morning of 22 May, many locations in New Zealand dipped below freezing, and several locations observed record or near-record low temperatures for May. The low temperatures were recorded after southerly winds hit the country, followed by settled anticyclonic conditions with clear skies.

    Overnight on 22-23 May, another cold night was experienced around the country, particularly for the North Island where several sites recorded below freezing temperatures."

  3. Zedd

     /  July 3, 2017

    I saw a news item; Prof. Stephen Hawking, has condemned mr Ts reckless attitude, to the environment; withdrawn from Paris Climate accord.. he said it could see the end of life on earth, if he goes ahead, as he says ! 😦

    The Prof. said we could see massive temperature increases, mentioned the atmosphere on Venus

    • PDB

       /  July 3, 2017

      Zedd: “mentioned the atmosphere on Venus”

      Pretty windy on Uranus apparently…..

      • Gezza

         /  July 4, 2017

        Just pondering that one without issuing a tick up or down. Seems a bit ambiguous. 🤔

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  July 3, 2017

      Unfortunately Hawking has a bee in his bonnet. Actually I suspect quite a few. On this particular one:
      A re-evaluation in 2013 of the effect of water vapor in the climate models showed that James Hansen’s outcome [runaway heating] might be possible, but requires ten times the amount of CO2 we could release from burning all the oil, coal, and natural gas in Earth’s crust.