The Dim-Post

October 6, 2015

First thoughts on the TPPA

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 6:46 am

I am a little staggered that they actually made a deal. The Herald article on the deal is here:

  • ‘Mr Groser is very upbeat about the overall result, which will be published later today, but less so on dairy.’
  • Access for dairy was literally Groser’s one job when negotiating this deal and he has, characteristically, failed to do it. I’m not that worried though. We’re already well over the environmental capacity for dairying. It’s probably costing more in long-term environmental costs than its earning in export revenue. So the last thing we needed was a trade deal incentivising more dairy. Best case scenario is that this new deal encourages exporters to move up the value chain and make high quality high wage products instead of shipping raw logs and milk powder.
  • ‘There will be no change on the current patents for biologic medicines, although an extension on copyright by 20 years will be phased in.’
  • This was always my main problem with the TPP deal. It was supposed to be a ‘modern free trade deal’ which standardised things like intellectual property laws to allow ‘frictionless’ trading. But as soon as the US joined the deal it became a grab-bag for its mega-corporations to impose a regime that is mostly anti-competitive and anti-free trade.
  • Officials estimate that the benefit of TPP to New Zealand will be at least $2.7 billion a year after 15 years.
  • My second problem with the TPP, This isn’t actually very much money. Probably about 1% of GDP by that time. And it doesn’t account for the costs of the deal. And the benefits will mostly be private: more profits for exporters; while the costs will mostly be public: eg, increased costs for Pharmac.
  • I suspect the costs of not being a member of the partnership, now that is (probably) exists are very high. Helen Clark talked about this in the weekend; that a trading bloc excluding us would be ‘a nightmare’. It would! This glides over the fact that Clark helped set up this trading bloc which then forced us to make major concessions without improving access for our major export product.

72 Comments »

  1. You are so right re dairy. Fonterra is a company that seems incapable of doing anything other than incentivising increased production, picking it up by truck, removing the water and then auctioning 50kg bags of powder. The good thing about this deal, it seems to me, is that – as a general rule – the more innovative and higher value the industry, the better it has done under TPP (at least according to this MFAT brochure on impact on goods trade: http://tpp.mfat.govt.nz/assets/docs/TPP_Overview_of_Sector_Outcomes.pdf )

    On Pharmac, I don’t see that there will be any material increased costs. Deal is clear it is only about new medicines and it seems the basic rule will be 5 years, with 8 years some aspirational goal (which, if that is right, we will no doubt spend the next few decades avoiding).

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — October 6, 2015 @ 7:04 am

  2. I feel that you really dislike MFAT and Tim Groser in particular. Perhaps it is entirely due to Tim Groser’s negligence that we don’t have a magical dairy deal, but you don’t know that. How could you?

    I think far more likely it was bloody fucking difficult to get any deal with the US and this was the best we could do. It’s possible Groser is useless, but I think this is your gut talking rather than your brain.

    You suggest that benefits will be private and costs public; well, assuming we have a 20% tax rate on corporations, that’s an extra $550 million per year. Even given inflation, that’s a huge number and I would expect it to offset the (minor) costs that appear to be associated with the deal.

    Comment by nightform — October 6, 2015 @ 7:31 am

  3. Also I see the left have shifted tactics and are now talking down the amounts that are going to be made by the TPPA – “it’s not that much money!” “only 1% of GDP”

    It reminds of the old climate change skepticism of staged denial – first they deny the problem exists, then they say that while the problem may exist, it’s not a big problem, then they say that even if the problem is a big one, there’s nothing we could do anyway.

    You know, first everyone say the TPPA is going to be a disaster, second, everyone says it’s not going to be a disaster but it won’t that much money, thirdly it will make that much money, but it’s a small number compared to percentage of GDP. Fourthly… I don’t know.. I think finally, the left will claim that the benefits would have happened anyway, or they’ll talk up Helen, because she started it!

    Comment by nightform — October 6, 2015 @ 7:34 am

  4. Few instant responses:

    1.Fonterra does seem a bit like a sulky cow stuck in a creek over its commercial strategy. ( I say this because 1. I grew up on a farm with a lot of creeks 2. I know a good analogy when I see it glaring at me while bogged in the peat.)

    2. The Canadian govt is reassuring its farmers things will be OK & has promised a subsidy worth (at current rates) the equivalent of roughly $340m a year the next 15 years. That suggests to me perhaps this isn’t such a bad deal for NZ dairy after all if they feel they need to do that.

    3. Outside dairy it has some surprises. Tobacco firms being barred from suing govts over health initiatives hasn’t got the attention it should have and is one in the eye for the tinfoil headgear mob.

    4. That $2.7 billion isn’t chickenfeed. 1% increase in annual GDP is actually quite significant. That is, of course, if it happens. I’ve little doubt this will lift overall GDP but putting a number on it, over this sort of time period, is an exercise in PR rather than economic forecasting.

    Comment by robhosking — October 6, 2015 @ 7:40 am

  5. Regarding your point 2 rob, it is important to note that Canada has an election in two weeks time, in which the current government really needs every vote it can get. A $340 million a year fund probably says a lot more about how scared the PCs are that their rural base will be upset than any dispassionate assessment of impact on farmers.

    Comment by anonymous — October 6, 2015 @ 7:55 am

  6. “Officials estimate that the benefit of TPP to New Zealand will be at least $2.7 billion a year after 15 years.”

    which of course doesnt match in any way grosser saying on the radio he has no idea of the $ benefit to NZ

    I suspect thats a bit similar to all those “well make $x from event X” claims

    Comment by framu — October 6, 2015 @ 7:58 am

  7. “This glides over the fact that Clark helped set up this trading bloc which then forced us to make major concessions without improving access for our major export product”

    Of course you could argue, as indeed Clark did, that some kind of trading bloc was going to be set up regardless, so better to get in at the beginning with some hope of leveraging that terms using the first-founder advantage. Perhaps that didn’t work but it’s not an innately stupid strategy.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 6, 2015 @ 8:06 am

  8. Parliament gets a vote on this, and any government can pull out in six months. It’ll be interesting to see what Labour’s response is.

    Comment by Gareth — October 6, 2015 @ 8:08 am

  9. @nightform An alkeged extra $2.7 billion gross income is not the same as taxable income. Your $550 million extra tax is just wrong.

    From the little I have read so far it looks like quotas remain on dairy (and other agricultural products?) into the US. Which negates tariff reductions.

    This $2.7 billion better off in 2030 claim. Has anyone seen the calculations? Does it compare TPP v no TPP? Does it factor in the necessary measures to address climate change?

    Comment by Andrew R — October 6, 2015 @ 8:33 am

  10. Looking at the opponents of the TPP in other countries they’re mostly reactionary protectionists and isolationists.

    It seems most countries didn’t get all they wanted which I think is an indication of a successful agreement. After all it was a negotiation between countries who had different goals and where there was probably thousands of special interest groups lobbying to get what they want.

    Given the complexities of the modern economy is say that was quite a successful outcome and look forward to being developed.

    Either that or we stay out and that will get us where exactly.

    Danyl, Little and Kelsey don’t have a high opinion of Clark. I’ll take Clark’s experience with the international community as being of value.

    Comment by NeilM — October 6, 2015 @ 9:00 am

  11. Without seeing the text I’m not entirely convinced about the supposed inability of Tobacco to access the ISDS.

    Tobacco might well be excluded in specific circumstances, but I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunity for them to lawyer up and either claim that those circumstances don’t apply or claim that they are not in fact a Tobacco company in the sense meant.

    Comment by RJL — October 6, 2015 @ 9:37 am

  12. @RobH,

    2. The Canadian govt is reassuring its farmers things will be OK & has promised a subsidy worth (at current rates) the equivalent of roughly $340m a year the next 15 years. That suggests to me perhaps this isn’t such a bad deal for NZ dairy after all if they feel they need to do that.

    Or else it suggests that there is an election in Canada in a few weeks time and that rural seats in Ontario/Quebec are critical to the Conservatives’ chance of retaining Government.

    3. Outside dairy it has some surprises. Tobacco firms being barred from suing govts over health initiatives hasn’t got the attention it should have and is one in the eye for the tinfoil headgear mob.

    Genuine question. We’re told the TPPA will have an exception from its ISDS provisions for measures taken to protect public health. Why, then, is a specific provision stopping tobacco companies from using the procedure needed? And if a specific provision is needed “for the avoidance of doubt”, doesn’t this call into question confident claims that the public health exception will keep ISDS’s from cramping governmental room to regulate?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 6, 2015 @ 9:47 am

  13. “Looking at the opponents of the TPP in other countries they’re mostly reactionary protectionists and isolationists.” ??

    ” Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Co.’s president of the Americas, talks about the automaker’s opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership if the trade agreement doesn’t limit a country’s ability to manipulate its currency. “- Bloomberg News

    Comment by duker — October 6, 2015 @ 9:58 am

  14. Have Labour said anything yet about how the TPPA means we should fear foreigners?

    Comment by NeilM — October 6, 2015 @ 10:05 am

  15. “Looking at the opponents of the TPP in other countries they’re mostly reactionary protectionists and isolationists.” ?? Version 2

    Fonterra was “very disappointed” by limited gains for dairy in the TPPA, with the Government admitting it was “too difficult” to lift all tariffs in the newly-agreed trade deal.
    It will take us forward on dairy absolutely, but in the most sensitive areas, only a LITTLE BIT at this point.”
    Canadian officials confirmed the deal would only offer up just 3.25 per cent of the Canadian dairy market and around two per cent of the poultry market over five years.-Stuff

    3.25% ! Its just a rounding error of the Canadian market, and most likely that will be gobbled up by the neighbouring US.

    Comment by duker — October 6, 2015 @ 10:11 am

  16. @rob

    “3. Outside dairy it has some surprises. Tobacco firms being barred from suing govts over health initiatives hasn’t got the attention it should have and is one in the eye for the tinfoil headgear mob.”

    I think that’s a bit unfair to the tinfoil hatters. Woiuld this carve out have happened if people hadn;t been kicking up bosie die? Maybe, probably not though. Same with the pharmaceuticals thing. Australia went to the wall on it and got some concessions. Why? Coz political pressure was applied. If there was less pressure, would have they busted as much gut? Maybe, probably not though.

    I’ve seen plenty of cheerleaders saying that critics have been proven wrong, but if everyone had been a cheerleader would have it looked like this? Maybe, probably not though. The politicians were incentivised to prove the public critics wrong. The system, it works.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — October 6, 2015 @ 10:18 am

  17. “@nightform An alkeged extra $2.7 billion gross income is not the same as taxable income. Your $550 million extra tax is just wrong.”

    The calc was on the basis that all of that accrued to private interests. Insofar as it accrues to private interests it will be taxable. In fact it of course wont all be corporate profit, the vast bulk of it will be wages for workers.

    Comment by Matthew W — October 6, 2015 @ 10:31 am

  18. Have Labour said anything yet about how the TPPA means we should fear foreigners?

    Nah, China’s not part of the TPPA.

    Comment by Phil — October 6, 2015 @ 10:34 am

  19. The politicians were incentivised to prove the public critics wrong. The system, it works.

    Democracy, fuck yeah!

    Comment by Phil — October 6, 2015 @ 10:38 am

  20. NeilM, if you must be the nit that keeps picking at least learn to damn well type.

    Comment by paritutu — October 6, 2015 @ 10:42 am

  21. “Have Labour said anything yet about how the TPPA means we should fear foreigners?

    Comment by NeilM — October 6, 2015 @ 10:05 am”

    It is implied.

    Comment by Richard Williams — October 6, 2015 @ 11:55 am

  22. I feel that you really dislike MFAT and Tim Groser in particular. Perhaps it is entirely due to Tim Groser’s negligence that we don’t have a magical dairy deal…

    Or it could be because Groser can be an arrogant prick who likes to live high on the taxpayer.

    Comment by Ross — October 6, 2015 @ 12:18 pm

  23. Tobacco firms being barred from suing govts over health initiatives hasn’t got the attention it should have and is one in the eye for the tinfoil headgear mob

    You haven’t seen the text of the yet-to-be-signed agreement so it’s a little premature to be suggesting what will or won’t be happening.

    Comment by Ross — October 6, 2015 @ 12:42 pm

  24. Joseph Stiglitz “How Trade Agreements Amount to a Secret Corporate Takeover”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-e-stiglitz/trade-agreements-amount-to-corporate-takeover_b_7302072.html

    Comment by Ross — October 6, 2015 @ 12:47 pm

  25. The Greens will hate this deal. After all it takes us further away from their ideal world of a peasant agrarian based economy last seen in NZ in 1870. Labour will hate it to because “it was shonkey wot dun it’ , despite the fact that Auntie Helen has backed it as the obvious course to take, and it was a Labour initiative in the first place. So Labour and the Greens will continue to poll around the 35% mark and we’ll see National in power for the next 30 years.

    Comment by artcroft — October 6, 2015 @ 1:08 pm

  26. In spite of its supposed R&D budget, Fonterra still comes across as a ‘bigger is better’ company, rather than a ‘value added’ company like Nestlé.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — October 6, 2015 @ 2:44 pm

  27. Labour and the Greens will continue to poll around the 35% mark and we’ll see National in power for the next 30 years.

    I’ll have whatever your having!

    Comment by Ross — October 6, 2015 @ 3:04 pm

  28. artcroft: And in 1870 trade unions didn’t yet exist.

    The TPPA originally didn’t start out as an excuse to resurrect the East India Company. Those movers & shakers in the G8 who call themselves free marketeers suddenly get cold feet when they turn up to the local farmers’ meeting.

    Still, it seems public pressure may have blunted some of the less desirable aspects of the whole thing.

    nightform 7 Matthew W: regarding the supposed $550m benefit, how evenly or not will it be spread if it does eventuate?

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — October 6, 2015 @ 3:04 pm

  29. “regarding the supposed $550m benefit, how evenly or not will it be spread if it does eventuate?”
    Well, that’s someone’s estimate of the tax take on the extra GDP from the deal. So I guess it goes into the consolidated fund and help to pay Danyl’s salary & Super contributions?
    Why the fuck do people think that something has to be spread evenly before allowing it to happen? Those who benefit directly, will spend money in the businesses of those who don’t. This part of trickle-down.

    “This isn’t actually very much money. Probably about 1% of GDP by that time”
    Whereas Danyl, the Greens and Labour have a plan that can help boost our economy by more than that and it is: . . . ?
    Really, DM, you can do better than be a contrary, whiney bugger.

    Oh, no, that’s right: those on the left have somehow convinced themselves that economic growth is unnecessary in helping make the lives of the poor and low paid better.*
    They also understand perfectly well with one half of the brain, that taxes come from the private sector, but the other side of the brain wants to fuck the private sector over. Reasonably intelligent people can see this, through want you guys say and do. So that’s why they hold their nose and vote National.

    *Or could it be that they believe that the improving circumstances of the poor, results in more consumption, thus is bad? Causes global warming or summit.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 6, 2015 @ 3:56 pm

  30. Causes global warming or summit.

    No. That’s an economy based on the burning of cheap fossil fuels. Once we transition from that, economic growth will be less of a problem.

    Really, Clunking Fist … after so long, do you still not understand this stuff?

    Comment by Flashing Light — October 6, 2015 @ 4:17 pm

  31. 28.artcroft: And in 1870 trade unions didn’t yet exist.

    Before the Unions (and Labour) there were the Liberals. Liberals were well to do types who spoke for the good of the disadvantaged and with great respect about the natural world. They attracted students and teachers alike dissatisfied with conservatism of old ways. The Liberals expounded on politics and life. They undertook much progressive reform.

    Comment by unaha-closp — October 6, 2015 @ 4:30 pm

  32. The tariff reductions (according to the government spin machine today, so not checked by reading the actual TPP) are a bit under 1% of export earnings.

    What will happen when the tariff reductions kick in? Will that tariff reduction money go to the producer, the exporter, the importer, the retailer or the consumer? I suspect importers will factor this into prices they are prepared to pay, and pay (relative to still having tariffs) less for products. But the retailer won’t pass on the savings. The producer and exporter will also get shafted?

    Comment by Andrew R — October 6, 2015 @ 4:52 pm

  33. @Andrew Geddis “Why, then, is a specific provision stopping tobacco companies from using the procedure needed?”

    Also, if a tobacco company can’t use the procedure to (for example) litigate against plain packaging, could a supermarket do so? What happens if the supermarket is owned by a tobacco company? How is it proven (except via litigation in a tribunal) that government legislation was motivated by genuine health concerns rather than (say) hysteria-driven polls, etc.

    I know its unanswerable until the text is seen. Even then probably still unanswerable until after the tribunals have actually ruled on cases. That’s the sort of detail we need to know about, however.

    Comment by RJL — October 6, 2015 @ 5:03 pm

  34. The TPP media coverage (spin) is a classic case of “Greg O’Connor Syndrome”.

    1. “Don’t criticise until you have all the facts”, and 2. “However, I have decided anyway that it is a good deal, because … well, because it’s a deal. Bad deals don’t happen.”

    The next logical fallacy will be accusing opponents of hypocrisy, as in: Mafia kill your entire family, but spare the pet. “Do you want the pet or not? You do? So that proves you’re happy with everything else too!”

    Accepting something for being not-nothing may be the only option when that’s all you’re offered. Doesn’t mean it was a job well done.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — October 6, 2015 @ 5:37 pm

  35. CF: “Those who benefit directly, will spend money in the businesses of those who don’t. This part of trickle-down.”

    They most certainly do. One of those businesses happens to be vehicular armour plating.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — October 6, 2015 @ 7:33 pm

  36. I’m not sure why Labour and the Greens just don’t say they’ll withdraw from the agreement when in govt.

    If they think they can get a better deal with someone like Trump in the White House then why not give it a go.

    Comment by NeilM — October 6, 2015 @ 8:45 pm

  37. RobHosking said:

    “3. Outside dairy it has some surprises. Tobacco firms being barred from suing govts over health initiatives hasn’t got the attention it should have and is one in the eye for the tinfoil headgear mob.”

    Actually it is more like one in the eye of the corporate lobby groups from the tinfoil headgear mob.

    Comment by Michael — October 7, 2015 @ 12:52 am

  38. Interesting reading the above comments when very few people really know what is in this agreement. Only time will tell if the whistleblowers are right and we have signed away the right to govern our country. I was a child in the 1950’s. Brought up in a country where people had jobs and were paid enough to live and care for their families. Many Trade deals later there are now many families that are struggling to survive. These so-called free trade deals have polluted our food, with hundreds of chemicals, polluted our land, water and air. We no longer produce our clothes, household goods, cars and many other things. This has all happened under progressive trade deals. We were told when we sold most of our assets in the 1980’s that this would make us a rich and prosperous nation and so it goes on. I look forward to a prosperous New Zealand under the TPPA regime. Supporters of the TPPA I suggest you keep an eye on the late night session of parliament over the next 10 years, you may wake up one morning and find that you live in a country that offer very little choice for its citizens, regarding how they live their lives. Yes, you included.

    Comment by Jenny Munro — October 7, 2015 @ 2:19 am

  39. Flashing Light @ 30 “No. That’s an economy based on the burning of cheap fossil fuels. Once we transition from that, economic growth will be less of a problem.”
    Lol, what about the negative growth (i.e. massive depression) while we transition to expensive, heavily subsidised* and unreliable “renewable” energy? Indeed, the growth off the low base WILL be welcome. However, people who think that we are about to transition anytime soon are loonies. Fucking nut case loonies. Do you know how much co2 is released in manufacturing the concrete that goes into a base of a wind turbine? I can’t be bothered googling to find the calc that indicates a wind turbine, should it survive to its stated use-by date, won’t save the amount of gas-fired electricity that was used in that manufacture. And no impact cost for the access roads that criss-cross the once pristine landscape** are ever factored into the equation. Really, Flashing, after so long, you still believe this shit?
    *less so in NZ, but I don’t think the greens will let us build anymore dams, so more wind & solar on the way (they work well on a still night)? Or are we going to grow stuff to burn and pretend that helps the environment (and doesn’t have an impact on deforestation and food prices)? (Yeah, yeah, I know that, actually, we’ll kick out the smelter and free up all that supply.)
    **less so in NZ, as we’ve already clear-felled that pristine landscape to raise sheep.

    Kumara @35. Indeed, I think most folk would be wishing they could afford that in Mexico City. It’s bad enough that women can’t ride the metro without the good chance of molestation, or worse.
    Of course, if I were a beef farmer in NZ, I’d probably spend it on paying down debt, catching up with maintenance on my fences, maybe ask the missus to come to WoW with me, (and while in Wellington, buy one of them $5 coffees I keep hearing about), etc.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 7, 2015 @ 2:55 pm

  40. Seriously, do people really not understand that affordable and reliable energy underpins our amazing, modern lifestyle?
    Oh, and a active private sector, of course.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 7, 2015 @ 2:59 pm

  41. (yes AND a functioning and fair legal system and govt, all necessary ingredients. I know, I know: I’m not a flippin’ libertarian.)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 7, 2015 @ 3:07 pm

  42. @ Clunking Fist:

    Who developed the technology and built the infrastructure for our “affordable and reliable energy”?

    Comment by RJL — October 7, 2015 @ 3:11 pm

  43. Do you know how much co2 is released in manufacturing the concrete that goes into a base of a wind turbine?

    That’s somewhat of a spurious argument given that barely any industrial activities factor externalities into price.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 7, 2015 @ 3:28 pm

  44. CF & Gregor W: How does it compare to the amount of energy needed to produce a motor vehicle?

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — October 7, 2015 @ 3:31 pm

  45. Don’t be Silly KR! You can’t drive a windmill.

    Besides,the Greens agenda is to foist an agrarian dystopia on us or something. Do you have any idea how much NO2 a horse puts out? Not to mention all their unsightly turds ruining the pristine countryside.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 7, 2015 @ 6:03 pm

  46. The Romans, a wee while back…

    Seriously, do people really not understand that affordable and reliable slaves underpin our amazing, modern lifestyle?

    Comment by Flashing Light — October 7, 2015 @ 9:25 pm

  47. No Right Turn basically sums it up: http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2015/10/a-shit-deal.html

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 8, 2015 @ 8:15 am

  48. There’s certainly a constituency for the it’s a shit deal position.

    Is their a party willing to represent this group by a straight forward unambiguous commitment to withdrawing?

    Comment by NeilM — October 8, 2015 @ 8:27 am

  49. Sweden Plans To Become World’s First Fossil Fuel-Free Nation

    “..completely, powered by non-fossil fuel energy sources, particularly renewables such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power.”

    “Swedish government has announced that its capital of Stockholm aims to be powered only by sustainable energy sources by 2050.” Wow, so now we’ve got until 2050 to save the world!
    “Although this nationwide goal has not got its own timetable yet”

    “Solar energy, in particular, has seen its budget increase by 800%.” Yay for corporate welfare: the Swedes are renown for their fair and generous welfare! Perhaps they’ll design solar that works at night?
    http://dilbert.com/series/26-Fake-green-energy-projects

    “Two-thirds of the country’s electricity is generated from non-fossil fuel energy sources already, mainly through hydroelectric and nuclear power generation. It will be interesting to see how replacing their nuclear power plants with renewables will hamper or assist them on their path to becoming a fossil fuel-free nation.” It will be interesting, indeed. If they favour solar and wind, what will they do on a cold, still winter’s night? They’ll be building a lot of hydro, I guess. Is this acceptable to the Green Brigade now? I thought they don’t like hydro?

    I don’t see anything about transport fuels in the article. Interesting.

    Come back to us when they’ve achieved something.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 8, 2015 @ 9:02 am

  50. Since I don’t care too much about co2, why would I care how much is released in producing a car? Pfft.
    Something that does bother me: air pollution. So I’ve always found it crazy that people think diesel cars are “good for the environment”. Is that not the height of “greenwashing”? And now it turns out that the manufacturer of choice amongst architects and academics (since the demise of Saab) has been fiddling the numbers on the emissions v power front for it’s diesel engines. How does it feel, guys, to find that you’re as dirty as the proles who mustn’t be allowed more power to consume?
    I am also not sure why WCC seems to think it’s a good idea to get rid of our trolley buses. Every other action taken to save the planet from the hobgoblin of cAGW is expensive and inconvenient, so why not stick to the buses that help keep our city’s CBD air cleanliness somewhat acceptable. I thought our mayor was a greenie?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 8, 2015 @ 9:11 am

  51. Sensible questions from Geoff Simmons
    https://garethsworld.com/blog/economics/top-5-questions-over-tppa/

    Comment by MeToo — October 8, 2015 @ 10:26 am

  52. @Sanctuary: Idiot is happy to poo poo the treaty because he feels the economic gains are miniscule, but if the economic gains were massive he’d be saying some things are more important than money and we shouldn’t regard a treaty as successful just because it makes money, what about our sovereignty and the environment and etc etc. When Idiot hates a government policy it doesn’t say anything about the policy any more than a cat attacking a mouse tells you that it must be a really evil mouse that deserves to die.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 8, 2015 @ 10:29 am

  53. @Kalvarnsen

    So, what? The fact that Idiot might be able muster multiple reasons for not liking the TPPA isn’t an argument that those reasons are invalid.

    Comment by RJL — October 8, 2015 @ 11:26 am

  54. @51. Actually its the Regional Council that is getting rid of trolleys. And yes it’s stupid until a better all electric option is available.

    Comment by Uncle Arthur — October 8, 2015 @ 11:30 am

  55. The thing about the TPPA is that it is such a big deal that it doesn’t matter if it is a good deal or a bad deal, we have to take this deal.

    Comment by unaha-closp — October 8, 2015 @ 11:44 am

  56. @ unaha-closp

    And we can’t leave 5Eyes, and large financial companies are too big to fail, and we can’t leave ANZUS, and we can’t do anything about nuclear testing, and dairy prices will never go down, the sun will never set on the British Empire, and the cold war will last indefinitely, and we can’t allow any additional Syrian refugees into the country, and One Direction will never break-up…

    Comment by RJL — October 8, 2015 @ 11:57 am

  57. CF: So CO2 emissions are an issue for making wind turbines but not for making cars? And there’s no shortage of corporate welfare for Big Oil.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11301084
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/71799723/government-grant-slammed-as-subsidy-for-oil-and-gas-explorers.html
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11481624
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/69076177/Fossil-fuel-subsidies-outstrip-global-public-spending-on-healthcare

    The ditching of Wellington’s trolley buses seems to be largely a Greater Wellington Regional Council thing, a hangover from Fran Wilde’s dominance.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — October 8, 2015 @ 12:37 pm

  58. Is there no political party that is prepared to draw a line in the sand and commit to withdraw to protect or sovereignty and democracy, to stop people dying, to stop foreigners stealing our houses?

    The stakes are that high.

    What possible gains could there be that could offset such a major disaster for NZ?

    Comment by NeilM — October 8, 2015 @ 8:28 pm

  59. @RJL: True, but that’s kind of my point. Of all the people you’d quote on why TPP is bad, why choose Idiot?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 8, 2015 @ 9:09 pm

  60. Incidentally, is anyone abel to put together a persuasive argument as to why MFAT needs a $11.4 apartment in New York? http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11526043

    I believe the official justification was that we needed it so that other countries took us seriously. Well it looks like they don’t, since we didn’t get what we wanted in the TPP. So I’m guessing they’ll sell the apartment and downgrade…

    Comment by Seb Rattansen — October 8, 2015 @ 9:09 pm

  61. @Kalvarnsen

    Because Idiot has provided an articulate, easily linkable argument as to why the TPP is bad?

    Clearly you don’t disagree with Idiot’s actual argument that the TPP is a bad deal, if your only problem is that he is the one making the argument?

    Comment by RJL — October 8, 2015 @ 9:30 pm

  62. @RJL: My feeling is that Idiot is generally given a prominence among online leftist thinkers that isn’t merited by his arguments, and that he discredits his thoughtful criticisms with over the top moralistic rhetoric (e.g. claiming that Stephen Joyce was personally responsible for killing everybody who died as a result of the speed limit not being lowered)

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 9, 2015 @ 8:25 am

  63. @kalvarnsen

    So, you don’t disagree with his arguments about TPPA then?

    Comment by RJL — October 9, 2015 @ 10:02 am

  64. @kalvansen,

    Aren’t you playing the man instead of the ball in exactly the same fashion as you criticise I/S for doing? Your response to Sanctuary wasn’t “I/S is wrong in his analysis because … “. Rather, it was “I/S’s analysis isn’t worth considering because he’s I/S”.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 9, 2015 @ 10:39 am

  65. Thanks for those links, Kumara

    1-“Luxury Oil Summit” I guess oil prices were still high back then, so the exports/foreign exchange savings if more oil was pumped in NZ could be considered “worth it”. It would be considered “economic growth”, something I care about, as it increases job prospects for the populace, even whilst I’m uncomfortable with taxpayer money being used to wine and dine anyone really. $240k eh? I wonder how much it costs to use parliament to host literary awards, RWC team namings, etc.
    2-“Government grant slammed as ‘subsidy’ for oil and gas explorers” “$9.6 million Government grant … GNS Science had been granted the money for a project designed to encourage more successful exploration activity in New Zealand.” “aim to better understand the types of rock formations which generate petroleum, how the liquid moves and how it is trapped beneath the earth [not a wothwhile aim, then?].” Again, uncomfortable as I am with corporate welfare, I’m not uncomfortable with co2. I wonder how much GNS, NIWA and MetService have spent on cAGW research..? Governments are ALWAYS using taxpayer money to pick winners: I cry about it every night as I go to sleep.

    3-“Government spends up to 20 times more money on wooing oil and gas companies to New Zealand than it does on promoting renewable energy, newly released figures show.” I guess they excluded the money that was pumped into the construction of our many dams, then?

    4-“Fossil fuel companies are benefiting from global subsidies of $7.38tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling estimate by the International Monetary Fund.” Oh, I see Lord Stern’s name in there. Funny how lefties hate such elitist nonsense, but then rely on it as an argument from authority. This study has largely been debunked, due to the way they defined “subsidy”. “Lord Stern said that even the IMF’s vast subsidy figure was a significant underestimate” OMG it’s the “it’s worse than we thought!” line being used again. The concerted effort to use such language just looks, well, concerted.

    LOL, is it any wonder that the public aren’t “believing” this stuff anymore. The handwringing over the failure in communications that is presumed to lie at the base of the lack of growth in the public’s belief, would be funny, if it weren’t so chilling: “must try harder, especially in schools…”.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 9, 2015 @ 11:39 am

  66. And thanks for further info on the trolley thing, I guess the RC don’t want to use their funds to subsidise something that only affects the CBD and environs. fair enough. Perhaps us Wellington City residents could be asked to pay? Although my buses are diesel, I am one who “enjoys” the CBD being less polluted than it otherwise would be. (and we could place a ban on diesel cars in the CBD between the hours of Xam and Xpm, eh? lol)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 9, 2015 @ 11:43 am

  67. Sorry to have hijacked the thread, but K, here’s todays green looniness:
    http://www.news24.com/Green/News/Turtle-eating-sharks-help-slow-global-warming-scientist-says-20150929

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 9, 2015 @ 12:36 pm

  68. “CF: So CO2 emissions are an issue for making wind turbines but not for making cars?”
    Since I don’t think co2 is an issue, why would I care about the amount released in building a car? I WOULD be concerned about the pollution around the car factory, though. Thankfully, most of our cars are built in nice clean factories… apart form maybe the mining of the rare earth metals used in the batteries of hybrids (and wind turbines, incidentally).
    No, the co2 released in burning natural gas versus the co2 released in constructing and maintaining a windturbine, should be an issue for folk concerned about global warming. The damage caused building access roads to windturbines versus the damage done damming a valley, should be an issue. The amount of co2 released in the clear-felling of American trees, chipping them, wetting them (to prevent spontaneous combustion), transporting them to the UK’s Drax plant, drying them, then burning them for electricity, versus the co2 emitted from simply burning natural gas, should be a concern (I won’t even mention the co$t).
    The Amount of arable land lost to solar arrays and biomass crops, versus the cost of food for poor people, is a concern.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 9, 2015 @ 1:16 pm

  69. Sorry to have hijacked the thread…

    Don’t tell lies, CF.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 9, 2015 @ 1:29 pm

  70. For clarity I mean you aren’t really “sorry” for your thread jack (again), not that what you are saying is “lies” (although I disagree with you).

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 9, 2015 @ 1:31 pm

  71. I know what you meant: and my nose did grow a bit when I hit “post comment”.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 9, 2015 @ 2:58 pm


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